- 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.
Origin of debris
SynonymsSee more synonyms for debris on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for debris
Strong currents and winds, however, mean any debris could be drifting up to 31 miles a day eastward, away from the impact zone.Wreckage, Bodies of AirAsia Crash Found
December 30, 2014
A number of bottles and other debris came down upon the demonstrators and cops on the roadway from the pedestrian walkway above.Protesters Slimed This Good Samaritan Cop
December 16, 2014
I asked a former NASA astronaut, who cannot be quoted on the record, to look at photographs of the debris.Clues From SpaceShipTwo’s Wreckage: Did the Crew Compartment Fail?
November 2, 2014
They said that the rest eventually sank beneath the surface—some after bobbing in the water clinging to debris for several hours.Hundreds of Migrants are Reported Drowned by Traffickers Near Malta
Barbie Latza Nadeau
September 15, 2014
There was one very large and easily identifiable piece of debris floating, the vertical stabilizer.MH370 Debris Is Lost Forever, Can the Plane Be Found Without It?
September 7, 2014
Selected water as the spot for his fall, and was not picked up with the debris.Who Was Who: 5000 B. C. to Date
Until then the stream had followed the street; but the debris that encumbered it deflected the course.The Flood
As she spoke she stepped forward and stumbled over the debris at the door.The Strollers
Frederic S. Isham
In the corner Nasha struggled to free herself from the debris.The Gun
Philip K. Dick
From the overhanging rocks, too, debris falls as a result of "weathering."The Mountain that was 'God'
John H. Williams
- 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 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").