\ ˈdrau̇t How to pronounce drought (audio) \
variants: or less commonly drouth \ ˈdrau̇th How to pronounce drouth (audio) \

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

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Other Words from drought

droughtiness \ ˈdrau̇-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce droughtiness (audio) \ 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 Their models show that hotter and drier weather is highly likely to stretch across key agricultural regions in the European Union, potentially compounding drought conditions that have been made worse by climate change. Jonathan Tirone, Fortune, "Stuck at home, Europeans face a summer of sweltering temperatures and drought, scientists predict," 16 May 2020 And drought conditions in Northern California may prompt an early start to this year’s wildfire season, forcing local authorities to rethink the typical logistics for how fire crews are housed and how residents are evacuated. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: A ‘boiling point’ on environmental issues," 7 May 2020 There was so much precipitation last winter that the reservoirs that supply water to the Phoenix area are nearly full, improving drought conditions. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "Arizona Gov. Ducey warns that wet winter could make for tough fire season during pandemic," 23 Apr. 2020 Much of the Western United States remains under drought conditions as fire season, which typically ramps up in mid-May and lasts through November, approaches. New York Times, "How the Coronavirus Crisis May Hinder Efforts to Fight Wildfires," 20 Mar. 2020 But that hasn't happened this winter, leading to drought conditions. Rick Jervis, USA TODAY, "Texas cattle ranchers face tough decision to cull or sell herds as drought deepens," 20 Jan. 2020 The discussions this week were aimed at developing the rules and guidelines that would mitigate drought conditions based on the natural flow of the Nile and water release rates from the dam’s reservoir. Washington Post, "3 African nations reach preliminary deal in Nile dam dispute," 16 Jan. 2020 The severe drought conditions are expected to persist despite rain falling or forecast in the region in coming days. David Winning, WSJ, "Australia Is Dry as a Bone, and Miners Need Water to Stay Afloat," 16 Jan. 2020 Much of southern Wisconsin baked in triple-digit heat because of a persistent ridge of high pressure combined with drought conditions, the first time thermometers inched past 100 degrees since the deadly heat wave of 1995. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Top 10 Wisconsin weather events in last decade," 9 Jan. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for drought

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for drought

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Drought.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drought. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for drought


How to pronounce drought (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of drought

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


\ ˈdrau̇t How to pronounce drought (audio) \

Kids Definition of drought

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

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