dead weight

or dead·weight


noun

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.

Nearby words

  1. dead time,
  2. dead tired,
  3. dead to rights,
  4. dead to the world,
  5. dead water,
  6. dead white european male,
  7. dead wood,
  8. dead zone,
  9. dead, book of the,
  10. dead-air space

Origin of dead weight

First recorded in 1650–60

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dead weight


British Dictionary definitions for dead weight

dead weight

noun

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

Idioms and Phrases with dead weight

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.