Definition of flotsam noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈflɒtsəm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈflɑːtsəm//
    [uncountable] Coastlines and the sea
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  1. 1parts of boats, pieces of wood or rubbish/garbage, etc. that are found on land near the sea or floating on the sea; any kind of rubbish/garbage The beaches are wide and filled with interesting flotsam and jetsam. compare jetsam See related entries: Coastlines and the sea
  2. 2people who have no home or job and who move from place to place, often rejected by society the human flotsam of inner cities
  3. Word Originearly 17th cent.: from Anglo-Norman French floteson, from floter ‘to float’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: flotsam