Dead weight
Weight Weight, n. [OE. weght, wight, AS. gewiht; akin to D. gewigt, G. gewicht, Icel. v[ae]tt, Sw. vigt, Dan. v[ae]gt. See {Weigh}, v. t.] [1913 Webster] 1. The quality of being heavy; that property of bodies by which they tend toward the center of the earth; the effect of gravitative force, especially when expressed in certain units or standards, as pounds, grams, etc. [1913 Webster]

Note: Weight differs from gravity in being the effect of gravity, or the downward pressure of a body under the influence of gravity; hence, it constitutes a measure of the force of gravity, and being the resultant of all the forces exerted by gravity upon the different particles of the body, it is proportional to the quantity of matter in the body. [1913 Webster]

2. The quantity of heaviness; comparative tendency to the center of the earth; the quantity of matter as estimated by the balance, or expressed numerically with reference to some standard unit; as, a mass of stone having the weight of five hundred pounds. [1913 Webster]

For sorrow, like a heavy-hanging bell, Once set on ringing, with his own weight goes. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. Hence, pressure; burden; as, the weight of care or business. ``The weight of this said time.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

For the public all this weight he bears. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

[He] who singly bore the world's sad weight. --Keble. [1913 Webster]

4. Importance; power; influence; efficacy; consequence; moment; impressiveness; as, a consideration of vast weight. [1913 Webster]

In such a point of weight, so near mine honor. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. A scale, or graduated standard, of heaviness; a mode of estimating weight; as, avoirdupois weight; troy weight; apothecaries' weight. [1913 Webster]

6. A ponderous mass; something heavy; as, a clock weight; a paper weight. [1913 Webster]

A man leapeth better with weights in his hands. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

7. A definite mass of iron, lead, brass, or other metal, to be used for ascertaining the weight of other bodies; as, an ounce weight. [1913 Webster]

8. (Mech.) The resistance against which a machine acts, as opposed to the power which moves it. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

{Atomic weight}. (Chem.) See under {Atomic}, and cf. {Element}.

{Dead weight}, {Feather weight}, {Heavy weight}, {Light weight}, etc. See under {Dead}, {Feather}, etc.

{Weight of observation} (Astron. & Physics), a number expressing the most probable relative value of each observation in determining the result of a series of observations of the same kind. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Ponderousness; gravity; heaviness; pressure; burden; load; importance; power; influence; efficacy; consequence; moment; impressiveness. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dead weight — Dead Dead (d[e^]d), a. [OE. ded, dead, deed, AS. de[ a]d; akin to OS. d[=o]d, D. dood, G. todt, tot, Icel. dau[eth]r, Sw. & Dan. d[ o]d, Goth. daubs; prop. p. p. of an old verb meaning to die. See {Die}, and cf. {Death}.] 1. Deprived of life;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dead weight — dead weights 1) N COUNT A dead weight is a load which is surprisingly heavy and difficult to lift. He hoisted the dead weight over his shoulder. 2) N COUNT: usu sing You can refer to something that makes change or progress difficult as a dead… …   English dictionary

  • dead weight — dead′ weight′ or dead′weight′ n. 1) the heavy, unrelieved weight of anything inert 2) a heavy burden or responsibility • Etymology: 1650–60 …   From formal English to slang

  • dead weight — n. 1. the weight of an inert person or thing 2. a heavy or oppressive burden 3. the weight of a vehicle without a load 4. DEAD LOAD …   English World dictionary

  • dead-weight — deadˈ weightˈ noun 1. Unrelieved weight 2. Heavy and oppressive burden 3. Difference in a ship s displacement loaded and light • • • Main Entry: ↑dead …   Useful english dictionary

  • dead weight — noun 1. ) count something that is very heavy and difficult to lift or carry a ) someone who cannot be lifted easily because they are sleeping, unconscious, or dead 2. ) singular something that makes it difficult for development, progress, or… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • dead weight — UK / US noun Word forms dead weight : singular dead weight plural dead weights 1) a) [countable] something that is very heavy and difficult to lift or carry b) someone who cannot be lifted easily because they are sleeping, unconscious, or dead 2) …   English dictionary

  • dead weight — 1. the heavy, unrelieved weight of anything inert: The dead weight of the bear s body was over 300 pounds. 2. a heavy or oppressive burden or responsibility. 3. the weight of a railroad car, truck, etc., as distinct from its load or contents.… …   Universalium

  • dead weight — noun a) unremitting heavy weight that does not move She wants to shed the dead weight of so many stacks of old clutter. b) that which is useless or excess; that which slows something down …   Wiktionary

  • dead weight — /dɛd ˈweɪt/ (say ded wayt) noun 1. the heavy, unrelieved weight of anything inert. 2. a heavy or oppressive burden. 3. Nautical the difference in weight, displacement, etc., between a ship or other vehicle when loaded and when empty. Abbrev.: dwt …   Australian English dictionary

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