Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1600-1700
Language: Anglo-French
Origin: floteson, from Old French floter 'to float'

flotsam

noun
     
Related topics: Nature
flot‧sam [uncountable]
1DN broken pieces of wood and other things from a wrecked ship, floating in the sea or scattered on the shore:
He would walk along the beach collecting the flotsam and jetsam that had been washed ashore.
2 things that people no longer want and so throw away:
works of art made from the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life
3 people who are very poor and do not have jobs or homes:
Camps were set up to shelter the flotsam and jetsam of the war.

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