\ ˈdrau̇t \
variants: or less commonly drouth \ ˈdrau̇th \

Definition of drought

1 : a period of dryness especially when prolonged specifically : one that causes extensive damage to crops or prevents their successful growth resistant to drought
2 : a prolonged or chronic shortage or lack of something expected or desired a drought of creativity

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from drought

droughtiness \ ˈdrau̇-​tē-​nəs \ noun
droughty \ ˈdrau̇-​tē \ adjective

Examples of drought in a Sentence

The drought caused serious damage to crops. a period of drought that lasted several years

Recent Examples on the Web

The Orioles haven’t had a losing streak of at least 10 games since 2010, but can end that drought Sunday. Josh Land, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles on deck: Chris Davis sits again; plus what to watch Sunday vs. Marlins and more," 17 June 2018 In 2011, Texas endured its most severe single-year statewide drought. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Texas’ deer population would welcome good soaking," 16 June 2018 Cornerback Nick Nelson ended that drought early Saturday. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Raiders made cornerback Nick Nelson the first of five Wisconsin players drafted," 28 Apr. 2018 His two hits since that drought started have been game-winners; on Sunday against the Washington Nationals and two days later against the Marlins. James Wagner, New York Times, "The Mets Have Found an Identity: The Comeback Kids," 11 Apr. 2018 This year's Ohio Mr. Basketball winner, Dane Goodwin of Upper Arlington, appeared set to break that drought. Tim Bielik, cleveland.com, "Ohio State expects up to 25 former players including Marshon Lattmore, Michael Thomas at spring game," 10 Apr. 2018 The principal focus of their gratitude in 1623 was a rainy spell that ended a lengthy drought. Sam Walker, WSJ, "The Plymouth Colony and the Business Case for Gratitude," 25 Nov. 2018 After winning the final game of the 2017 season against the Miami Dolphins, and with an assist from Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals, the Bills made the playoffs last year, ending the longest professional sports playoff drought. Jennifer Williams, Fox News, "The Daily Spike: Meeting the Buffalo Bills' Kyle Williams (and going tailgating)," 21 Sep. 2018 The Ravens went 3-1 during his absence under rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, and coach John Harbaugh has decided to stick with the first-round draft pick with Baltimore striving to end a three-year playoff drought. David Ginsburg, The Seattle Times, "Flacco loses job as Ravens starting QB; Jackson takes over," 12 Dec. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of drought

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for drought

Middle English, from Old English drūgath, from drūgian to dry up; akin to Old English drȳge dry — more at dry

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about drought

Dictionary Entries near drought





drought spot



Statistics for drought

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for drought

The first known use of drought was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for drought



English Language Learners Definition of drought

: a long period of time during which there is very little or no rain


\ ˈdrau̇t \

Kids Definition of drought

: a long period of time during which there is very little or no rain

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on drought

What made you want to look up drought? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


means, resources, or money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!