Definition of flotsam in English:

flotsam

Syllabification: flot·sam
Pronunciation: /ˈflätsəm
 
/

noun

  • 1The wreckage of a ship or its cargo found floating on or washed up by the sea. Compare with jetsam.
    More example sentences
    • It has the habit of swimming in small shoals around patches of flotsam, or floating logs, and is attracted by rafts or drifting boats.
    • But being seen in the shimmering waters, when you're but a speck of flotsam to a passing ship, was never a sure bet.
    • It's finding a shell or bit of interesting flotsam washed up during the last high tide or a few oysters that can be opened and washed down with a glass of wine back home.
    Synonyms
  • 1.1People or things that have been rejected and are regarded as worthless: the room was cleared of boxes and other flotsam
    More example sentences
    • The federation is a worthless body of flotsam - we should invite the university to take over: it can't possibly do any worse.
    • Obviously, with every man and his dog being able to update the pages of such a site, there was always a very real risk that idiots would try to fill it with disinformation, advertising and other worthless flotsam.
    • Outside, a man is pushing a battered shopping cart filled with flotsam from the road: crumpled cans, a discarded flask, a pillow.

Phrases

flotsam and jetsam

Useless or discarded objects.
More example sentences
  • Typical examples of materials found include visitor waste, flotsam and jetsam, off-shore fishing waste and articles such as cotton buds and materials washed down toilets.
  • I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him.
  • Consisting entirely of discovered letters, lists, angry diatribes and photographs, each issue of Found presents a glimpse into the oft-wondrous flotsam and jetsam of human existence.

Origin

early 17th century: from Anglo-Norman French floteson, from floter 'to float'.

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