Debris Definition

dəbrē; also dābrē, dābrē; chiefly Brit debrē
Rough, broken bits and pieces of stone, wood, glass, etc., as after destruction; rubble.
Webster's New World
Bits and pieces of rubbish; litter.
Webster's New World
A heap of rock fragments, as that deposited by a glacier.
Webster's New World
The fragmented remains of dead or damaged cells or tissue.
American Heritage Medicine

The ruins of a broken-down structure.


Origin of Debris

  • Borrowing from French débris, itself from dé- (“de-”) + bris (“broken, crumbled”), or from Middle French debriser (“to break apart”), from Old French debrisier, itself from de- + brisier (“to break apart, shatter, bust”), from Frankish *brestan (“to break violently, shatter, bust”), from Proto-Germanic *brestaną (“to break, burst”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhrest- (“to separate, burst”). Cogante with Old High German bristan (“to break asunder, burst”), Old English berstan (“to break, shatter, burst”). More at burst.

    From Wiktionary

  • French débris from Old French debrisier to break to pieces de- intensive pref. de– brisier to break (from Vulgar Latin brīsāre to press grapes) (probably of Celtic origin)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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