dead' weight'

1. the heavy, unrelieved weight of anything inert: The dead weight of the bear's body was over 300 pounds.
2. a heavy or oppressive burden or responsibility.
3. the weight of a railroad car, truck, etc., as distinct from its load or contents. Also,dead'weight'.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

dead waterdeadweight tonnage
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