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dreg

[dreg] /drɛg/
noun
1.
dregs, the sediment of liquids; lees; grounds.
2.
Usually, dregs. the least valuable part of anything:
the dregs of society.
3.
a small remnant; any small quantity.
Origin of dreg
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Old Norse dreg yeast (plural dreggjar dregs); cognate with Old Swedish dräg dregs
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dregs
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Malbone, greedy of emotion, was drinking to the dregs a passion that could have no to-morrow.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • But Della drained her draught of joy to the dregs, and then tilted her cup anew.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • The pimps of proxenetism are recruited from the dregs of society.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • There cling to him still the limitations and dregs of his brute life.

    The Meaning of Evolution Samuel Christian Schmucker
  • The sins of man are generally the dregs of his brute ancestry.

    The Meaning of Evolution Samuel Christian Schmucker
  • But Philip had kept him apart, had banked him off, and yet drained him to the dregs.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for dregs

dregs

/drɛɡz/
plural noun
1.
solid particles that tend to settle at the bottom of some liquids, such as wine or coffee
2.
residue or remains
3.
(Brit, slang) a despicable person
Word Origin
C14 dreg, from Old Norse dregg; compare Icelandic dreggjar dregs, Latin fracēs oil dregs

dreg

/drɛɡ/
noun
1.
a small quantity: not a dreg of pity See also dregs
Word Origin
see dregs
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dregs
n.

c.1300 (implied in surname Dryngedregges), from Old Norse dregg "sediment," from Proto-Germanic *drag- (cf. Old High German trestir, German Trester "grapeskins, husks"), from PIE *dher- (1) "to make muddy." Replaced Old English cognate dræst, dærst "dregs, lees." Figurative use is from 1530s.

dreg

n.

see dregs.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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