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3 definitions found
 for Dead weight
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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; -- opposed to alive and living;
        reduced to that state of a being in which the organs of
        motion and life have irrevocably ceased to perform their
        functions; as, a dead tree; a dead man. "The queen, my
        lord, is dead." --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The crew, all except himself, were dead of hunger.
                                                    --Arbuthnot.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Seek him with candle, bring him dead or living.
                                                    --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Destitute of life; inanimate; as, dead matter.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. Resembling death in appearance or quality; without show of
        life; deathlike; as, a dead sleep.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. Still as death; motionless; inactive; useless; as, dead
        calm; a dead load or weight.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     5. So constructed as not to transmit sound; soundless; as, a
        dead floor.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     6. Unproductive; bringing no gain; unprofitable; as, dead
        capital; dead stock in trade.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     7. Lacking spirit; dull; lusterless; cheerless; as, dead eye;
        dead fire; dead color, etc.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     8. Monotonous or unvaried; as, a dead level or pain; a dead
        wall. "The ground is a dead flat." --C. Reade.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     9. Sure as death; unerring; fixed; complete; as, a dead shot;
        a dead certainty.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              I had them a dead bargain.            --Goldsmith.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     10. Bringing death; deadly. --Shak.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     11. Wanting in religious spirit and vitality; as, dead faith;
         dead works. "Dead in trespasses." --Eph. ii. 1.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     12. (Paint.)
         (a) Flat; without gloss; -- said of painting which has
             been applied purposely to have this effect.
         (b) Not brilliant; not rich; thus, brown is a dead color,
             as compared with crimson.
             [1913 Webster]
  
     13. (Law) Cut off from the rights of a citizen; deprived of
         the power of enjoying the rights of property; as, one
         banished or becoming a monk is civilly dead.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     14. (Mach.) Not imparting motion or power; as, the dead
         spindle of a lathe, etc. See Spindle.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     15. (Elec.) Carrying no current, or producing no useful
         effect; -- said of a conductor in a dynamo or motor, also
         of a telegraph wire which has no instrument attached and,
         therefore, is not in use.
         [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
  
     16. Out of play; regarded as out of the game; -- said of a
         ball, a piece, or a player under certain conditions in
         cricket, baseball, checkers, and some other games.
  
               [In golf], a ball is said to lie dead when it lies
               so near the hole that the player is certain to hole
               it in the next stroke.               --Encyc. of
                                                    Sport.
         [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
  
     Dead ahead (Naut.), directly ahead; -- said of a ship or
        any object, esp. of the wind when blowing from that point
        toward which a vessel would go.
  
     Dead angle (Mil.), an angle or space which can not be seen
        or defended from behind the parapet.
  
     Dead block, either of two wooden or iron blocks intended to
        serve instead of buffers at the end of a freight car.
  
     Dead calm (Naut.), no wind at all.
  
     Dead center, or Dead point (Mach.), either of two points
        in the orbit of a crank, at which the crank and connecting
        rod lie a straight line. It corresponds to the end of a
        stroke; as, A and B are dead centers of the crank
        mechanism in which the crank C drives, or is driven by,
        the lever L.
  
     Dead color (Paint.), a color which has no gloss upon it.
  
     Dead coloring (Oil paint.), the layer of colors, the
        preparation for what is to follow. In modern painting this
        is usually in monochrome.
  
     Dead door (Shipbuilding), a storm shutter fitted to the
        outside of the quarter-gallery door.
  
     Dead flat (Naut.), the widest or midship frame.
  
     Dead freight (Mar. Law), a sum of money paid by a person
        who charters a whole vessel but fails to make out a full
        cargo. The payment is made for the unoccupied capacity.
        --Abbott.
  
     Dead ground (Mining), the portion of a vein in which there
        is no ore.
  
     Dead hand, a hand that can not alienate, as of a person
        civilly dead. "Serfs held in dead hand." --Morley. See
        Mortmain.
  
     Dead head (Naut.), a rough block of wood used as an anchor
        buoy.
  
     Dead heat, a heat or course between two or more race
        horses, boats, etc., in which they come out exactly equal,
        so that neither wins.
  
     Dead horse, an expression applied to a debt for wages paid
        in advance. [Law]
  
     Dead language, a language which is no longer spoken or in
        common use by a people, and is known only in writings, as
        the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.
  
     Dead plate (Mach.), a solid covering over a part of a fire
        grate, to prevent the entrance of air through that part.
        
  
     Dead pledge, a mortgage. See Mortgage.
  
     Dead point. (Mach.) See Dead center.
  
     Dead reckoning (Naut.), the method of determining the place
        of a ship from a record kept of the courses sailed as
        given by compass, and the distance made on each course as
        found by log, with allowance for leeway, etc., without the
        aid of celestial observations.
  
     Dead rise, the transverse upward curvature of a vessel's
        floor.
  
     Dead rising, an elliptical line drawn on the sheer plan to
        determine the sweep of the floorheads throughout the
        ship's length.
  
     Dead-Sea apple. See under Apple.
  
     Dead set. See under Set.
  
     Dead shot.
         (a) An unerring marksman.
         (b) A shot certain to be made.
  
     Dead smooth, the finest cut made; -- said of files.
  
     Dead wall (Arch.), a blank wall unbroken by windows or
        other openings.
  
     Dead water (Naut.), the eddy water closing in under a
        ship's stern when sailing.
  
     Dead weight.
         (a) A heavy or oppressive burden. --Dryden.
         (b) (Shipping) A ship's lading, when it consists of heavy
             goods; or, the heaviest part of a ship's cargo.
         (c) (Railroad) The weight of rolling stock, the live
             weight being the load. --Knight.
  
     Dead wind (Naut.), a wind directly ahead, or opposed to the
        ship's course.
  
     To be dead, to die. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
              I deme thee, thou must algate be dead. --Chaucer.
  
     Syn: Inanimate; deceased; extinct. See Lifeless.
          [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  dead weight
      n 1: an oppressive encumbrance
      2: a heavy motionless weight

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