Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The sediment in a liquid; lees. Often used in the plural.
  • n. The basest or least desirable portion. Often used in the plural: the dregs of humanity.
  • n. A small amount; a residue.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Sediment in a liquid.
  • n. By extension, the lowest and most worthless part of something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Corrupt or defiling matter contained in a liquid, or precipitated from it; refuse; feculence; lees; grounds; sediment; hence, the vilest and most worthless part of anything.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An obsolete form of dredge
  • n. An obsolete or colloquial singular of dregs.
  • n. An obsolete form of dredge.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small amount of residue

Etymologies

Middle English dreg, from Old Norse dregg.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Icelandic dregg. Cognate with Albanian ndrag ("to make dirty, to foul"), dra ("sediments of dairy products or liquids") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This is similar to the practice of China government in repressing human rights activist Tan Zuoren, who disclosed the bean dreg school building construction problem in the Sichuan earthquake, with the charge of inciting sedition.

    Global Voices in English » Hong Kong: A 10-dollar coin to pledge against political harassment

  • Joe Wilson is a disgusting dreg of humanity and he makes me ashamed.

    Wilson calls White House to apologize

  • He out-aced the game's best server of recent times 24-9 and drained the American's legendary fighting spirit to the last dreg to win 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

    Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka set for the battle of Switzerland

  • I can't see so well, it's getting dark and the reeds are tall here, willowy reeds that slap your face when you climb down with your rake and cull and dreg the day.

    Dock

  • Maybe some homeless dreg will puke on your loafers and the snowflakes will make you cold as they fall down the back of your shirt.

    Origins Friday

  • I don't have anything against Fabio, truth be told, I thought he died a few years back when he was on a roller coaster and a bird flew into his face and opened him up faster that a homeless dreg on a can of tuna.

    Fabio Hates George Clooney

  • " Readers familiar with Roosevelt ' s " Autobiography " — or other TR biographies — will be stunned to read Mr. Morris claiming that Roosevelt and progressives of his class looked down, with " aristocratic fastidiousness, " on " poor whites, and at the dreg level, imported coolies, reservation Indians, and disenfranchised blacks.

    Bull Moose In Twilight

  • But who ultimately gets the spit infused dreg containers after they are binned?

    Alarming Data: Number Crunching and Gear Mashing

  • While having absolute sympathy with your position and a great deal of admiration for your patience with this dreg of humanity, I would like to point out that some of your colleagues could use a word.

    Find Shannon « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • That Deputy Dawg-looking, dirty, deceitful dreg of the earth deserved to be cursed out, ghetto-style.

    Pure Paradise

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