SKIP TO CONTENT

dregs

Those little grains of tea or coffee left at the bottom of the cup are known as the dregs. The dregs are the least wanted portion, or the residue.

Literally speaking, dregs refers to sediment at the bottom of a liquid such as tea, but figuratively you can use dregs to mean “a small amount left.” If you are running out of food in your refrigerator, you might say, “We’re down to the dregs in here.” Dregs is also used in the same way as the expression “bottom of the barrel.” The “dregs of society,” for instance, is a negative phrase that describes people whom the speaker considers to be useless.

Definitions of dregs
  1. noun
    sediment that has settled at the bottom of a liquid
    synonyms: settlings
    see moresee less
    types:
    grounds
    dregs consisting of solid particles (especially of coffee) that form a residue
    coffee grounds
    the dregs remaining after brewing coffee
    type of:
    deposit, sediment
    matter that has been deposited by some natural process
  2. noun
    a small part or portion that remains after the main part no longer exists
    synonyms: leftover, remnant
    see moresee less
    type of:
    balance, remainder, residual, residue, residuum, rest
    something left after other parts have been taken away
  3. noun
    the most worthless or undesirable part of something
    see moresee less
    type of:
    component, component part, constituent, moiety, part, portion
    something determined in relation to something that includes it
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week