the heavy, unrelieved weight of anything inert: The dead weight of the bear's body was over 300 pounds.
a heavy or oppressive burden or responsibility.
the weight of a railroad car, truck, etc., as distinct from its load or contents.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use dead weight in a sentence
It’s dead weight that doesn’t store energy or produce a current itself.Novel lithium-metal batteries will drive the switch to electric cars | Katie McLean | February 24, 2021 | MIT Technology Review
The Chinook vibrated with deeper and deeper groans until its twin engines managed to heave up our dead weight.
In contrast, if you have a 40-mile battery, for many shorter trips this investment is nothing but dead weight.Electric Vehicles May Be the Green Car of the Future, But Hybrids Are the Green Car of the Present | Megan McArdle | January 24, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
But he is dead wrong to suggest that government is simply redistributive or worse, a dead-weight drag on the economy.An Article That Made Me Sad, and a Little Response to Readers | Michael Tomasky | June 12, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
We need to celebrate our gains and victories while we continue to put fire to the feet of dead weight.
She estimated it may take at least two years to clear out dead weight from the department and make the staff functional once more.
But for the most part even industry and endowment were powerless against the inertia of custom and the dead-weight of environment.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice | Stephen Leacock
In the next few days they stowed some four thousand tons' dead weight into the Dimbula, and took her out from Liverpool.Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II | Rudyard Kipling
The tackle, hooked on to the stern of the sunken yacht, was at first as so much dead weight on their hands.The Rival Campers Afloat | Ruel Perley Smith
But I tell you it was hard work getting him up, he was such a dead weight!We Ten | Lyda Farrington Kraus
Each man gazed on the other, trying to find some word that might be fitting, but each muted by the dead weight of half a century.Cursed | George Allan England
British Dictionary definitions for dead weight
a heavy weight or load
an oppressive burden; encumbrance
the difference between the loaded and the unloaded weights of a ship
another name for dead load
(in shipping) freight chargeable by weight rather than by bulk
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with dead weight
A heavy or oppressive burden, as in That police record will be a dead weight on his career. This term alludes to the unrelieved weight of an inert mass. [Early 1700s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.