Definition of dead weight in English:

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dead weight

Pronunciation: /ˈded ˈˌwāt/
(also deadweight)


1The weight of an inert person or thing: the net was a dead weight on his shoulders
More example sentences
  • His useless left arm is a deadweight that causes severe pain in his neck and back.
  • The koala was a dead weight holding me down and we stayed in those brown dark depths for what seemed like half an eternity.
  • Why is the dead weight of someone (e.g., an unconscious person or dead body) heavier than live weight (e.g., a conscious person)?
1.1A heavy or oppressive burden: the past was just so much dead weight, excess baggage
More example sentences
  • If he didn't get the trade out of Boston that he sought, he'd become a deadweight around the clubhouse until his contract expired at the end of this campaign.
  • The danger is that those who come to Britain to work hard, get educated and better themselves and their families risk being dragged down by the deadweight of sections of the indigenous population.
  • His mother's vow that he would join the priesthood should he be cured appears to have created a deadweight of responsibility on a child's consciousness.
1.2The total weight of cargo, stores, etc., that a ship carries or can carry at a particular draft.
Example sentences
  • The net registered tonnage of a ship roughly corresponds to 40 per cent of its deadweight.
  • The LMZ Artemis has a summer deadweight of 69,714 tonnes, 83,000 tonne displacement, is 228 metres long and has draft of 12.1 metres.
  • This buoyancy supports most of the deadweight of floating cargoes, so that typically only a minor portion of the deadweight is carried by the vessel.
1.3 another term for dead load.
Example sentences
  • The horizontal pressure on the wall from the backfill is countered by the deadweight of the concrete and of the backfill material pressing down upon its broad base.
  • In summary, the load used for settlement analyses must consist of the actual dead weight of the structure, and in many cases, will also include live loads.
  • Finally, there is a limit for the dead weight of the structure if the structure is going to be floated out.
1.4 Farming Animals sold by the estimated weight of salable meat that they will yield.
Example sentences
  • At this level, any pig producer selling deadweight should be diverting some of his production into the live market to take advantage of the situation.
  • Currently farmers receive around £1.45 per kilo deadweight for their lambs which averages around £25 - £30 per head; and is well below profitable production levels.
  • There is a definite shortage of good lightweight heifers and I notice that the Scottish auctions averaged 108p/kilo liveweight last week, which is round about 180-185p deadweight.
1.5 [usually as modifier] Economics Losses incurred because of the inefficient allocation of resources, especially through taxation or restriction: a dead-weight burden
More example sentences
  • Moreover, we have shown that this process maximizes the welfare to society by reducing any deadweight loss associated with an inefficient inter-regional spatial pattern of labour.
  • And taxation to support government insurance programmes has a high deadweight loss.
  • However, if that is not the case, prices in the U.S. will increase, imposing a classical deadweight loss (from trade reduction) on the U.S.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dead weight

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