Definition of debris in English:



  • 1Scattered pieces of waste or remains.

    ‘the bomb hits it, showering debris from all sides’
    ‘clean away any collected dust or debris’
    • ‘He sent his crew into the woods, but while the area was showered with debris there was little sign of the plane itself.’
    • ‘The car was reduced to a mangled wreck, and debris and broken glass were scattered across the road.’
    • ‘Blackened and twisted debris was scattered far and wide over across the gentle slope, like driftwood on a beach.’
    • ‘Fire services and Gardai also attended the scene of the crash and debris was scattered over both sides of the road.’
    • ‘Many roads were littered with debris including fallen traffic lights and overturned cars blocked several routes.’
    • ‘The Corsa smashed one of the gateposts of the Pulleyns' home and their garden was filled with debris from the car today.’
    • ‘It shattered windows in nearby buildings and sent debris flying for half a mile.’
    • ‘The plane came down about 100 yards from a row of terrace houses, showering some gardens with debris.’
    • ‘Its roof has been torn off by the massive blast that scattered debris and timbers across the courtyard.’
    • ‘Both men died instantly in the crash, which left debris scattered over a wide area.’
    • ‘The boards were so rotten that they gave away immediately, showering him with debris.’
    • ‘The victims were indoors and were hit by debris from shattered windows.’
    • ‘It hit a carriage showering the passengers with debris from the roof but it did not fall into the carriage.’
    • ‘The scene of the tragedy remained a mound of twisted metal and debris yesterday as the emergency services worked through the rubble.’
    • ‘Some of the bodies remained under debris as rescue workers cleared rubble.’
    • ‘Flames shot out of the side of the building and debris rained down.’
    • ‘They were showered in debris as the house collapsed and Amanda was separated from her party.’
    • ‘The father-of-two came home to find that a rocket had come through the plastic roof spreading debris around the garden.’
    • ‘The future of many, badly scarred by falling debris and fires, remains uncertain.’
    • ‘The regular helicopter pad was not usable, scattered with debris from the plane and the explosion.’
    detritus, refuse, rubbish, waste, waste matter, discarded matter, litter, scrap, dross, chaff, flotsam and jetsam, lumber, rubble, wreckage, spoilage
    remains, remnants, fragments, scraps, dregs, offscourings, odds and ends
    trash, garbage
    dreck, junk
    grot, gash, odds and sods, gubbins
    shit, crap
    draff, raffle, raff, cultch, orts
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Loose natural material consisting especially of broken pieces of rock.
      ‘a stable arrangement of planets, comets, and debris orbiting the sun’
      • ‘In any case, they've had a clean-up of natural debris and the sand is white and clean.’
      • ‘As the ice moves it can erode or excavate large quantities of the rock and unconsolidated debris on which it rests.’
      • ‘Rather, they are produced by bits of dusty debris shed by orbiting comets and asteroids.’
      • ‘The location is in a heavily forested area obscured by vegetation and ground debris.’
      • ‘The Kuiper belt is an icy disk of debris orbiting the sun, beyond Neptune, and is the original home of many comets.’
      • ‘They contain some quartzite and quartz clasts and only a little debris derived from local Jurassic rocks.’
      • ‘During the day, they will be found buried in the loose soil and debris or under soil clods.’
      • ‘The scarce fossil record consists of bivalve and gastropod debris.’
      • ‘The current estimate is that there are over a million bits of debris orbiting the Earth.’
      • ‘The samples were dispersed in twice the amount of distilled water necessary to cover the organic debris in the pots.’
      • ‘These clumps of rock are known as meteors and asteroids, and the name given to icy loose formations of debris is a comet.’
      • ‘First, dirt is screened to remove pebbles, rocks and organic debris, such as roots.’
      • ‘They put in a plastic casing to hold the well and surrounded it with gravel to keep out rocks and other debris.’
      • ‘Why then was there so little accumulation of sedimentary rock and debris on the ocean floor?’
      • ‘The inner edge also tends to be masked by eroded seacliff debris.’
      • ‘Turbulent tides have churned up the sea bed, disturbing rocks and natural debris such as drift wood.’
      • ‘After having to unstrap to walk over a rocky outcrop we arrived at the top of the next slope, which was fairly steep, and littered with rock debris.’
      • ‘You will normally spot them scavenging at the edge of the reef for bits of loose weed and other debris.’
      • ‘Carbonaceous plant debris is concentrated in finely laminated silts and mudstones at the tops of some beds.’
      • ‘Remove sticks, rocks, and other debris, and rake the tops of the beds smooth and flat.’


Early 18th century: from French débris, from obsolete débriser break down.