dead weight (also dead·weight) • n. the weight of an inert person or thing. ∎ a heavy or oppressive burden: the past was so much dead weight. ∎ the total weight of cargo, stores, etc., that a ship carries or can carry at a particular draft. ∎ another term for dead load. ∎ Farming animals sold by the estimated weight of salable meat that they will yield. ∎ [usu. as adj.] Econ. losses incurred because of the inefficient allocation of resources, esp. through taxation or restriction.
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