or dé·bris

[ duh-bree, dey-bree or, esp. British, deb-ree ]
/ dəˈbri, ˈdeɪ bri or, esp. British, ˈdɛb ri /


the remains of anything broken down or destroyed; ruins; rubble: the debris of buildings after an air raid.
Geology. an accumulation of loose fragments of rock.

Nearby words

  1. debrett,
  2. debride,
  3. debridement,
  4. debrief,
  5. debriefing,
  6. debris bug,
  7. debruise,
  8. debs,
  9. debs, eugene v.,
  10. debs, eugene victor

Origin of debris

1700–10; < French débris, Middle French debris, derivative of debriser to break up (in pieces), Old French debrisier (de- de- + brisier to break; see bruise) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for debris

British Dictionary definitions for debris



/ (ˈdeɪbrɪ, ˈdɛbrɪ) /


fragments or remnants of something destroyed or broken; rubble
a collection of loose material derived from rocks, or an accumulation of animal or vegetable matter

Word Origin for debris

C18: from French, from obsolete debrisier to break into pieces, from bruisier to shatter, of Celtic origin

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

Word Origin and History for debris



1708, from French débris "remains, waste, rubbish" (16c.), from obsolete debriser "break down, crush," from Old French de- (see de-) + briser "to break," from Late Latin brisare, possibly of Gaulish origin (cf. Old Irish brissim "I break").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper