dead weight

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See also: deadweight


Alternative forms[edit]


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dead weight (countable and uncountable, plural dead weights)

  1. Unremitting heavy weight that does not move.
  2. (nautical) The largest weight of cargo a ship is able to carry; i.e, the weight of a ship when fully loaded minus its weight when empty.
  3. (construction) Dead load.
  4. (figuratively) That which is useless or excess; that which slows something down.
    She wants to shed the dead weight of so many stacks of old clutter.
    • 1837, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Ethel Churchill, volume 2, page 105:
      It was Ethel Churchill, dressed as a bride, and on her wedding morning, that Norbourne had seen. She had sought the summer-house for a few moments of quiet and solitude. There was a dead weight on her spirits, which she rather sought to indulge than to shake off.
    • 1938, Norman Lindsay, Age of Consent, Sydney: Ure Smith, published 1962, page 219:
      For ten minutes he waited there, jabbed at by his nerves, with every minute mounting up a dead weight of suspense.
    • 2015, Neville Ramdeholl, The Man Who Woke Up Dead:
      They have the brains to rob a bank, but I guess only the rest of the gray matter is nothing but dead weight.
    • 2017 July 23, Brandon Nowalk, “The great game begins with a bang on Game Of Thrones (newbies)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      Nobody could ever be bothered to imagine the Sand Snakes beyond personalized weaponry and fake-aggressive quips, none of which were very convincing, and now they don’t even register as dead weight.


Further reading[edit]


dead weight

  1. (of a shot in snooker or other cue sports) With just enough weight for a ball to drop into a pocket, or come to rest in a precisely determined position.
    • 2015, Steve Davis, Interesting: My Autobiography[2], →ISBN:
      I had no escape other than trying to roll off a side cushion, just ahead of the middle pocket, and lay on a red, dead weight, about a foot from the pocket in open play.
    • 2017, Hector Nunns, The Crucible's Greatest Matches: Forty Years of Snooker's World Championship[3], →ISBN:
      I potted a really difficult cut red into the middle pocket, dropping it in dead weight and finishing on the pink for a 59 break that pretty much got me there.
    • 2018, David Horrix, Complete Book of Snooker Shots[4], →ISBN:
      From behind the Brown, aim to drop in dead-weight into the back of the pack.
    He rolled the red in dead weight, and now he's nicely on the blue.