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Alternative forms[edit]


From Anglo-Norman floteson, from Old French flotaison (a floating), from floter (to float), of Germanic origin (See float.), + -aison, from Latin -atio.


  • IPA(key): /ˈflɒtsəm/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒtsəm


flotsam (countable and uncountable, plural flotsams)

  1. Debris floating in a river or sea, in particular fragments from a shipwreck.
    • 1988 May 9, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, Conspiracy (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Paramount Domestic Television, OCLC 28323866:
      WORF: Sensors beginning to pick up small objects, sir.
      PICARD: On screen.
      RIKER: Doesn't look natural.
      PICARD: Agreed. Enlarge and identify.
      WORF: It looks like debris from a space vessel of some kind.
      RIKER: It could be one of those ships that was orbiting Dytallix.
      LA FORGE: We are in close proximity to that planet.
      PICARD: Identify marks Mr. Worf.
      WORF: Nothing so far. Sensors not detecting any bodies in the flotsam. But from the amount of the wreckage, I'm sorry sir, it can only be the Horatio. From the looks of it she's been totally destroyed.

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