Definition of dross in English:



mass noun
  • 1Something regarded as worthless; rubbish.

    ‘there are bargains if you have the patience to sift through the dross’
    • ‘It's light-hearted fun in another week of undistinguished dross.’
    • ‘This man makes a living out of writing this dross?’
    • ‘Only objective properties really exist - all else is dross.’
    • ‘Such dross is abundantly available elsewhere.’
    • ‘I went through the drawers of my dresser today, tossing out all the accumulated dross of over seven years, and then repeated the process on the study cabinets.’
    • ‘Her adventures as junior PI, the well-written dialogue and storylines apparently mark the series out from the usual teenage dross that populates our screens.’
    • ‘The other is the idea that most people would rather watch cheap and cheerful dross rather than really good comedy and drama, wherever it is produced.’
    • ‘The burgeoning multitude of reality TV programmes drives me to distraction and is a deterrent to buying services that provide even more channels dispensing the same kind of dross.’
    • ‘This movie is not completely without value, but there's a lot of sub-par dross to be sifted through to get to the worthwhile material.’
    • ‘Thankfully, real stars such as Juliette Binoche were also present among the programme's dross, talking about being in it for the art and not for the celebrity or the box-office returns.’
    • ‘It was a movie far ahead of its time and very different mind-fodder from most of the unmemorable gloss and dross that came out of Hollywood that year.’
    • ‘It's been downright merciless, transforming a highly regarded play about four desperate lives in 1950s New York into painfully embarrassing dross.’
    • ‘I'd rather clean the toilet than watch that dross.’
    • ‘There is so much out there - much of it impenetrable dross.’
    • ‘Having recently renewed my subscription to Crikey (rather reluctantly), I was thinking as I read through today's dross that it is finally time to quit and ask for a refund.’
    • ‘Such numbers, of course, include a huge amount of dross.’
    • ‘See this and then ponder how on earth the US box office managed to generate $16 million in a single weekend from such dross.’
    • ‘The resurgent and excellent Doctor Who series proved beyond doubt that programmes for the whole family are still feasible and can be sure-fire ratings winners without being saccharine coated dross.’
    • ‘The artists of today are largely putting out dross about themselves or their petty lives under the guise of ‘important comment’ for whatever group they may be targeting.’
    • ‘We briefly considered handing in our resignations, but then we shrugged our shoulders and got back to the business of turning this dross into something that could be published less than 24 hours later.’
    rubbish, junk, debris, chaff, draff, detritus, flotsam and jetsam
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  • 2Foreign matter, dregs, or mineral waste, in particular scum formed on the surface of molten metal.

    ‘alchemists tried to create gold from dross’
    • ‘It was my delight to watch and speak with some of the old-timers there, and one chap used to astonish me by washing his hands, scooping the dross from the surface of some molten metal, then splashing his hands in it!’
    • ‘Johannesburg's two rivers are also considered unsafe, primarily because of untreated human waste and chemicals leaching from piles of mining dross.’
    • ‘Secondary smelting is a related process used to recover nonferrous metals and alloys from new and used scrap and dross.’
    • ‘Parts coming off the machine typically do not have dross or slag left over from the cutting process, which means less time in the electropolishing postprocess.’
    • ‘Blast furnaces are used to recycle slag, dross, and residues from other processes.’
    debris, waste, waste matter, discarded matter, refuse, rubbish, litter, scrap, flotsam and jetsam, lumber, rubble, wreckage
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Old English drōs (in the sense ‘scum on molten metal’); related to Dutch droesem and German Drusen ‘dregs, lees’.