[draws, dros]


waste matter; refuse.
Metallurgy. a waste product taken off molten metal during smelting, essentially metallic in character.
British. coal of little value.

Origin of dross

before 1050; Middle English dros(se), Old English drōs; cognate with Middle Dutch droes dregs; compare Middle English drōsen, Old English drōsna; cognate with Middle High German truosen husks
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dross

Historical Examples of dross

  • You are above all this, and can look down at it as dross, and I like you for that also.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • But less of this happened, we may feel sure, than a purging away of the dross.

    The Balladists

    John Geddie

  • But there is rapture in the cup—there is the vision which makes all life below it dross for ever.


    George Eliot

  • To be in harmony with the lonely dead there must be no dross about the mind.

    The Wind Bloweth

    Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne

  • Well, what signifies which of us has the dross, so that there is enough for both?

British Dictionary definitions for dross



the scum formed, usually by oxidation, on the surfaces of molten metals
worthless matter; waste
Derived Formsdrossy, adjectivedrossiness, noun

Word Origin for dross

Old English drōs dregs; related to Old High German truosana
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 dross

"dirt, dregs," Old English dros "the scum thrown off from metals in smelting," from Proto-Germanic *drohs- (cf. Middle Dutch droes, Dutch droesem, Middle Low German dros, Old High German truosana, German Drusen "dregs, husks"), from PIE dher- (1) "to make muddy." Meaning "refuse, rubbish" is mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper