\ 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

When an city or a country is using nearly all of the water available, a bad drought can be catastrophic. Somini Sengupta, BostonGlobe.com, "A quarter of world’s population faces extreme stress as water supplies ebb, study says," 6 Aug. 2019 The El Niño drought in 2015 was particularly severe. The Economist, "The Amazon is approaching an irreversible tipping point," 1 Aug. 2019 That 10-year drought is the longest stretch since the state parks department was established in 1927. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, "Castle Rock State Park: Grand new $8.7 million entrance opens to public," 1 Aug. 2019 Fireworks are never automatic in Colorado, where drought is a way of life and tinder is seemingly everywhere. John Wenzel, The Know, "Denver fireworks 2019: Your guide to Fourth of July displays in the metro area," 24 June 2019 No matter the result Wednesday afternoon at Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center, a decade-long drought was going to end for the east metro in boys tennis. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "Class A boys tennis: Mounds Park Academy wins state championship in dramatic fashion," 5 June 2019 Sporadic power outages in the capital and other major cities were increasing just as the worst drought in 50 years was curbing output at the nation’s biggest hydroelectric dam, aggravating the crisis. Peter Millard, Bloomberg.com, "A Timeline of Venezuela’s Economic Rise and Fall," 16 Feb. 2019 But a study published in 2015 by Friederike Otto of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University found no sign that greenhouse-gas emissions had raised the risk of drought. The Economist, "Greenhouse-gas emissions are increasing the frequency of heatwaves," 25 July 2019 Africa experienced two decades of drought, and the Indian monsoon weakened, as well. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "No climate event of the last 2,000 years looks like humanity’s," 25 July 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near drought





drought spot



Statistics for drought

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for drought

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

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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 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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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).


to make or get by devious means

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