[ 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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Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

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
de·tri·tal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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
detrital, adjective
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

Medical definitions for detritus

[ dĭ-trītəs ]

n. pl. detritus

Loose matter resulting from the wearing away or disintegration of tissue or other material.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for detritus

[ dĭ-trītəs ]

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.
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