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[draws, dros] /drɔs, drɒs/
waste matter; refuse.
Metallurgy. a waste product taken off molten metal during smelting, essentially metallic in character.
British. coal of little value.
Origin of dross
before 1050; Middle English dros(se), Old English drōs; cognate with Middle Dutch droes dregs; compare Middle English drōsen, Old English drōsna; cognate with Middle High German truosen husks Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dross
Historical Examples
  • You are above all this, and can look down at it as dross, and I like you for that also.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • But less of this happened, we may feel sure, than a purging away of the dross.

    The Balladists John Geddie
  • But there is rapture in the cup—there is the vision which makes all life below it dross for ever.

    Romola George Eliot
  • To be in harmony with the lonely dead there must be no dross about the mind.

    The Wind Bloweth

    Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne
  • Well, what signifies which of us has the dross, so that there is enough for both?

  • To him now all was dross that was not Helena, as to Faust in Marlowe's play.

    The Dictator

    Justin McCarthy
  • And a savage he is, politically, with no soul above the dross.

    The Battle with the Slum Jacob A. Riis.
  • No woman had ever been so foolish as she; she had cast away gold for dross.

    Our Bessie Rosa Nouchette Carey
  • The Goddess shall purge me from my uncleanness as metal is purged from the dross.

    Uarda, Complete Georg Ebers
  • The silver has been mined, digged from the earth, but there is dross in it.

    God's Plan with Men

    T. T. (Thomas Theodore) Martin
British Dictionary definitions for dross


the scum formed, usually by oxidation, on the surfaces of molten metals
worthless matter; waste
Derived Forms
drossy, adjective
drossiness, noun
Word Origin
Old English drōs dregs; related to Old High German truosana
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 dross

"dirt, dregs," Old English dros "the scum thrown off from metals in smelting," from Proto-Germanic *drohs- (cf. Middle Dutch droes, Dutch droesem, Middle Low German dros, Old High German truosana, German Drusen "dregs, husks"), from PIE dher- (1) "to make muddy." Meaning "refuse, rubbish" is mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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