ar·​id | \ ˈa-rəd How to pronounce arid (audio) , 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 How to pronounce aridity (audio) , a-​ \ noun
aridness \ ˈa-​rəd-​nəs How to pronounce aridness (audio) , 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 need for such preventive work — and building with fire-resistant materials — has long been preached to those who live in the arid expanses of Washington and elsewhere in the West, where wildfires year after year claim homes and lives. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "As wildfire risk grows west of Cascades, homeowners urged to better protect their homes," 30 July 2019 And here at home, the importance of water to our arid state cannot be overstated. Ved Nanda, The Denver Post, "Nanda: Water crises can be solved with technology — politics aside," 26 July 2019 These are our sweet self-indulgences here on arid, airless Ares. Bruce Sterling, Quartz, "Happy 50th anniversary of the Mars landing, Earthlings!," 22 July 2019 Furthermore, the Santa Catalina foxes are better adapted to the island’s hot, arid climate than the other foxes, many of which live on wetter, cooler islands. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Boosting genetic diversity may save vanishing animal populations. But it may also backfire," 16 July 2019 In 2003, Terri accepted a position with a television station in Las Vegas, choosing it over a similar offer in Portland, Ore., because of Las Vegas’ arid climate and the proximity of the Miller School. Greg Luca,, "Daughter of UTSA basketball assistant coach an inspiration despite disability," 14 July 2019 Some plants have adapted to the arid climate by growing long roots that tap water from deep underground. Christina Nunez, National Geographic, "Deserts, explained," 12 June 2019 In the north-western regions that are India’s most arid, such as Rajasthan and Gujarat, the baolis underwrote life, as sources of both irrigation and drinking water. The Economist, "India’s magnificent stepwells are relics of a nuanced history," 13 July 2019 Colorado’s semi-arid climate makes every drop of water a valuable commodity, and there are signs, based on the report and recent trends, that droughts may become more common and longer-lived. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "It’s been a cold 2019 in Colorado. Climate change is still happening.," 11 July 2019

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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arid cycle



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Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for arid

The first known use of arid was in 1652

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English Language Learners Definition of arid

: very dry : having very little rain or water
: lacking in interest and life


ar·​id | \ ˈer-əd How to pronounce arid (audio) \

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

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of or relating to the heavens

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