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.
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   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.
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   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.
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            For sorrow, like a heavy-hanging bell,
            Once set on ringing, with his own weight goes.
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   3. Hence, pressure; burden; as, the weight of care or
      business. "The weight of this said time." --Shak.
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            For the public all this weight he bears. --Milton.
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            [He] who singly bore the world's sad weight.
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   4. Importance; power; influence; efficacy; consequence;
      moment; impressiveness; as, a consideration of vast
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            In such a point of weight, so near mine honor.
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   5. A scale, or graduated standard, of heaviness; a mode of
      estimating weight; as, avoirdupois weight; troy weight;
      apothecaries' weight.
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   6. A ponderous mass; something heavy; as, a clock weight; a
      paper weight.
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            A man leapeth better with weights in his hands.
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   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.
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   8. (Mech.) The resistance against which a machine acts, as
      opposed to the power which moves it. [Obs.]
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   Atomic weight. (Chem.) See under Atomic, and cf.

   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.
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   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.
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            The crew, all except himself, were dead of hunger.
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            Seek him with candle, bring him dead or living.
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   2. Destitute of life; inanimate; as, dead matter.
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   3. Resembling death in appearance or quality; without show of
      life; deathlike; as, a dead sleep.
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   4. Still as death; motionless; inactive; useless; as, dead
      calm; a dead load or weight.
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   5. So constructed as not to transmit sound; soundless; as, a
      dead floor.
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   6. Unproductive; bringing no gain; unprofitable; as, dead
      capital; dead stock in trade.
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   7. Lacking spirit; dull; lusterless; cheerless; as, dead eye;
      dead fire; dead color, etc.
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   8. Monotonous or unvaried; as, a dead level or pain; a dead
      wall. "The ground is a dead flat." --C. Reade.
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   9. Sure as death; unerring; fixed; complete; as, a dead shot;
      a dead certainty.
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            I had them a dead bargain.            --Goldsmith.
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   10. Bringing death; deadly. --Shak.
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   11. Wanting in religious spirit and vitality; as, dead faith;
       dead works. "Dead in trespasses." --Eph. ii. 1.
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   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.
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   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.
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   14. (Mach.) Not imparting motion or power; as, the dead
       spindle of a lathe, etc. See Spindle.
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   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
       [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.

   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

   Dead head (Naut.), a rough block of wood used as an anchor

   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

   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.
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