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Related to dead wood: get the axe
1. Literally, the dead parts of a tree, bush, or plant. Your plant might bloom again if you cut the deadwood out.
2. Those who are ineffective and unproductive. Based on these consistently low numbers, there's a lot of deadwood in that department.
3. In bowling, fallen pins that have yet to be cleared from the lane. It's my turn, as soon as the deadwood gets cleared.
If you describe someone or something as dead wood, you mean that they are no longer useful or effective in a particular organization or situation and you want to get rid of them. It is now time for the dead wood at the top of the party to be cut away. The Government's policies were designed to streamline the industry and remove some of the dead wood.
dead woodpeople or things that are no longer useful or productive.
2003 Architectural Review Academics cement themselves like limpets to whomever will give them tenure. Australian universities are full of dead wood.
ˌdead ˈwood(informal) people or things that are no longer useful or necessary: The management wants to cut costs by getting rid of all the dead wood in the factory. Fifty workers are to lose their jobs.
This refers to the parts of a tree or a branch that are dead and no longer produce fruit, etc.
n. nonproductive or nonfunctional persons. We’ll have to cut costs by getting rid of the deadwood.