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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce debris (audio)

Dictionary definition of debris

The scattered remains or fragments of something that has been destroyed or broken apart.
"The construction site was littered with debris from the demolished building."

Detailed meaning of debris

These fragments can be physical objects such as broken pieces of buildings or vehicles, or can be more abstract such as scattered pieces of information or data. Debris can also be referred to as the waste or discarded materials that results from human activity such as construction, demolition, land development or natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. The term can also refer to the natural waste of a biological organism such as an animal or plant. Debris can be dangerous, as it can contain sharp edges, toxic materials, or other hazards. Cleaning up and disposing of debris can be a significant task, requiring specialized equipment and personnel.

Example sentences containing debris

1. The construction site was littered with debris from the demolished building.
2. After the storm, the beach was covered in a layer of sand and debris.
3. The astronaut carefully maneuvered through the field of space debris.
4. The explosion scattered debris across the entire neighborhood.
5. The archaeologist sifted through the debris to uncover ancient artifacts.
6. The highway was temporarily closed due to debris on the road.

History and etymology of debris

The noun 'debris' has an etymology that reflects its nature as scattered remains or fragments. It comes from the French word 'débris,' which means 'remains' or 'rubble.' 'Débris' itself is derived from the Old French word 'debriser,' which means 'to break' or 'to shatter.' In English, 'debris' is used to describe the scattered remnants or fragments of something that has been destroyed or broken apart, such as the aftermath of a natural disaster or the wreckage of a demolished building. The etymology of 'debris' underscores its historical association with the idea of broken and shattered objects, highlighting the scattered and often chaotic nature of the remnants it describes.

Quiz: Find the meaning of debris

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Further usage examples of debris

1. The tornado left a trail of destruction and debris in its wake.
2. The cleanup crew worked tirelessly to remove the debris left by the landslide.
3. The artist created a unique sculpture using recycled debris from a junkyard.
4. The plane crash left a heartbreaking scene of debris and wreckage.
5. A fallen tree limb was among the debris blocking the hiking trail.
6. The abandoned factory was filled with rusted machinery and debris.
7. The riverbanks were lined with debris carried downstream by the floodwaters.
8. The explosion sent debris flying in all directions, causing chaos.
9. The museum displayed artifacts made from debris collected from historical sites.
10. The hurricane's aftermath left the town in ruins and debris strewn everywhere.
11. The detective carefully examined the debris for clues to the cause of the fire.
12. The street cleaners diligently worked to clear the debris after the parade.
13. The demolition crew systematically cleared the debris from the old building.
14. The avalanche left a massive pile of snow and debris at the base of the mountain.



wreckage, order, structure, intactness


SAT 15 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Decline and Disintegrate, Destruction and Devastation

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