[ dih-trahy-tuhs ]
/ dɪˈtraɪ təs /
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rock in small particles or other material worn or broken away from a mass, as by the action of water or glacial ice.
any disintegrated material; debris.
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Origin of detritus
1785–95; <French détritus<Latin: a rubbing away, equivalent to dētrī-, variant stem of dēterere to wear down, rub off (de-de- + terere to rub) + -tus suffix of v. action
OTHER WORDS FROM detritusde·tri·tal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use detritus in a sentence
The slight elevations of sandy "geest" or detrital spurs were limited in area and in time outgrown.Influences of Geographic Environment|Ellen Churchill Semple
The sides also became less vertical, and there was an accumulation of detrital fragments about their bases.A Journey in Other Worlds|John Jacob Astor
Trap′-tū′fa, -tuff, a variety of tufa consisting of the detrital matter of trap-rock.
In such scenes of desolation and destruction, detrital sediments are actively being generated.The Birth-Time of the World and Other Scientific Essays|J. (John) Joly
The margin of this new lake, acting upon the detrital matter, would form the second road.Fragments of science, V. 1-2|John Tyndall
British Dictionary definitions for detritus
/ (dɪˈtraɪtəs) /
a loose mass of stones, silt, etc, worn away from rocks
an accumulation of disintegrated material or debris
the organic debris formed from the decay of organisms
Derived forms of detritusdetrital, adjective
Word Origin for detritus
C18: from French détritus, from Latin dētrītus a rubbing away; see detriment
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
Scientific definitions for detritus
[ dĭ-trī′təs ]
Loose fragments, such as sand or gravel, that have been worn away from rock.
Matter produced by the decay or disintegration of an organic substance.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.