There aren't many things more depressing than walking on a beautiful beach and discovering a stretch of it that's covered in detritus. Detritus means trash or debris.

Usually, detritus refers to waste or junk of some kind, but it can actually mean any accumulation of material, not only man-made stuff. Loose gravel, silt, and sand can all be called detritus, and so can decomposed organic matter, like piles of dead leaves. The Latin word detritus literally means "a wearing away."

Definitions of detritus

n loose material (stone fragments and silt etc) that is worn away from rocks

Type of:
material, stuff
the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object

n the remains of something that has been destroyed or broken up

debris, dust, junk, rubble
dust consisting of a mixture of small coal fragments and coal dust and dirt that sifts out when coal is passed over a sieve
Type of:
rubbish, scrap, trash
worthless material that is to be disposed of

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