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

Much of the rest of the experience tastes off, from the arid and fishy-smelling crab imperial to the signature cut that lacks any sense of beefiness and is done no favors by a little heap of dry horseradish. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Tom Sietsema’s 7 favorite places to eat (and drink) right now — plus one to avoid," 24 June 2019 But Stephenson foresees no arid desert of sterile intellect, only an extension of the human heart, in a touching final image. Paul Di Filippo, Dallas News, "In Neal Stephenson's 'Fall,' there is life after death," 18 June 2019 For example, rapid cooling may have been disastrous for crops in Ireland and Scandinavia, but Büntgen says arid, drought-prone environments like the Negev may have benefited from the changes. Megan Gannon, National Geographic, "1,500-year-old garbage dumps reveal city’s surprising collapse," 25 Mar. 2019 The ship is designed with better ergonomics and more comfortable living spaces and has better air conditioning for the hot and arid regions the ship will no doubt visit in the future. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "First of Its Class, America's Newest Aircraft Carrier Is Underway at Sea," 10 Apr. 2017 At the high end of that range, many coastal and arid regions that are currently home to humans would become uninhabitable, subsumed by sea or desert. Quanta Magazine, "Scientists Parse Ocean’s Dynamic Role in Climate Change," 11 Apr. 2013 Some scientists argue that termite colonies build and maintain the bare circles, while others blame them on plants battling for water across the arid landscape. Quanta Magazine, "A Mathematician Who Decodes the Patterns Stamped Out by Life," 20 Dec. 2017 Kumba, the Anglo American subsidiary, mines in South Africa’s arid north. Rhiannon Hoyle, WSJ, "China’s Cleanup Efforts Create Boom for South African Miner," 4 Aug. 2018 The grain is grown all over the country from the semi-arid north to the rain forests of the south. Ruth Olurounbi,, "Nigeria’s Corn Output Expected to Fall 7% on Pests, Rising Imports," 31 Jan. 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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arid cycle



Statistics for arid

Last Updated

10 Jul 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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