ar·id | \ ˈa-rəd , ˈer-əd \

Definition of arid 

1 : excessively dry specifically : having insufficient rainfall to support agriculture an arid region

2 : lacking in interest and life : jejune arid textbooks

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Other words from arid

aridity \ə-ˈri-də-tē, a- \ noun
aridness \ˈa-rəd-nəs, ˈer-əd- \ noun

Examples of arid in a Sentence

a dull and arid textbook an arid speech about duty and responsibility

Recent Examples on the Web

The movie is filled with stunning landscapes, and the sleek lions are part of an arid but beautiful terrain that both sustains and threatens. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "Rare desert lions are magnificent, and you can see them in their home territory," 8 July 2018 Although parts of deciduous forests in the region have died due to arid conditions and heat waves, Piovesan and his colleagues found that the old pine has thrived. National Geographic, "Oldest European Tree Found—And It's Having a Growth Spurt," 25 May 2018 Those Americans flocking into the arid lands beyond the 100th Meridian would see their dreams dashed by spindly crops, heartbreak and bankruptcy. John F. Ross, WSJ, "The Prophet of the Dust Bowl," 14 June 2018 Image Every spring in Australia, billions of bogong moths migrate from the arid plains of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria to the meadows of the Australian Alps to escape the impending heat. Joanna Klein, New York Times, "Magnetic Sense Helps Billions of Moths on an Australian Migration," 21 June 2018 The ancient, arid landscapes of Australia are fertile ground for new growth, says Douglas MacFarlane, a chemist at Monash University in suburban Melbourne: vast forests of windmills and solar panels. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Ammonia—a renewable fuel made from sun, air, and water—could power the globe without carbon," 12 July 2018 Even at the best of times this arid, sparsely populated belt of land that runs along the southern fringe of the Sahara desert is poor and badly governed. The Economist, "Jihadists are trying to take over the Sahel," 12 July 2018 Long tables were decorated with floral arrangements by Eothen that complemented both the architecture of the estate and the arid Palm Springs landscape. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Bridal Shop Owner Wore Five Different Dresses for her Palm Springs Wedding," 10 July 2018 Billions of dollars have been poured into reservoirs, pumping stations and aqueducts, mostly to move water from the rainy north to the arid and densely populated south. Dale Kasler, sacbee, "This one issue could make splitting California into three states virtually impossible," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arid

1652, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for arid

French or Latin; French aride, from Latin aridus, from arēre to be dry; akin to Sanskrit āsa ash, Old English asce

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Dictionary Entries near arid





arid cycle



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Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for arid

The first known use of arid was in 1652

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More Definitions for arid



English Language Learners Definition of arid

: very dry : having very little rain or water

: lacking in interest and life


ar·id | \ ˈer-əd \

Kids Definition of arid

: not having enough rainfall to support agriculture

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More from Merriam-Webster on arid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for arid

Spanish Central: Translation of arid

Nglish: Translation of arid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of arid for Arabic Speakers

Comments on arid

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an open space surrounded by woods

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