dry

adjective
\ ˈdrī How to pronounce dry (audio) \
drier also dryer\ ˈdrī(-​ə)r How to pronounce dryer (audio) \; driest also dryest\ ˈdrī-​əst How to pronounce dryest (audio) \

Definition of dry

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : free or relatively free from a liquid and especially water Mix the dry indgredients first. as dry as a bone
b : not being in or under water happy to be on dry land
c meteorology : lacking precipitation or humidity a dry climate
2a : characterized by exhaustion of a supply of liquid a dry well
b geology : devoid of running water a dry ravine
c : devoid of natural moisture My throat was dry. dry leaves
d : no longer sticky or damp The paint isn't dry yet.
e : not giving milk a dry cow
f : lacking freshness : stale
g chemistry : anhydrous
3a : marked by the absence or scantiness of secretions a dry cough
b : not shedding or accompanied by tears a dry sob
4 obsolete : involving no bloodshed or drowning I would fain die a dry death— William Shakespeare
5a : marked by the absence of alcoholic beverages a dry party
b : prohibiting the manufacture or distribution of alcoholic beverages a dry county
6 : served or eaten without butter or margarine dry toast

7 alcohol

a : lacking sweetness : sec dry champagne
b : having all or most sugar fermented to alcohol a dry wine dry beer
8a : solid as opposed to liquid dry groceries
b : reduced to powder or flakes : dehydrated dry milk
9 : functioning without lubrication a dry clutch
10 of natural gas : containing no recoverable hydrocarbon (such as gasoline)
11 : requiring no liquid in preparation or operation a dry photocopying process
12a : not showing or communicating warmth, enthusiasm, or tender feeling : severe a dry style of painting
b : wearisome, uninteresting dry passages of description a dry lecturer
c : lacking embellishment : plain
13a : not yielding what is expected or desired : unproductive a writer going through a dry spell
b : having no personal bias or emotional concern the dry light of reason
14 : marked by matter-of-fact, ironic, or terse manner of expression a dry wit has a very dry sense of humor
15 : lacking smooth sound qualities a dry rasping voice
16 : being a dry run a dry rehearsal

dry

verb
dried; drying

Definition of dry (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make dry (see dry entry 1) drying her hair

intransitive verb

: to become dry waiting for the paint to dry

dry

noun
plural drys

Definition of dry (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : the condition of being dry (see dry entry 1) : dryness
2 : something dry especially : a dry place

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from dry

Adjective

dryish \ ˈdrī-​ish How to pronounce dryish (audio) \ adjective
dryly or less commonly drily adverb
dryness noun

Verb

dryable \ ˈdrī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce dryable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for dry

Synonyms: Adjective

arid, droughty, sere (also sear), thirsty, waterless

Synonyms: Verb

dehydrate, desiccate, parch, scorch, sear

Antonyms: Adjective

damp, dank, humid, moist, wet

Antonyms: Verb

hydrate, wash, water, wet

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of dry in a Sentence

Adjective

Mix the dry ingredients first, then add the milk and eggs. the dry heat of the desert We tried to stay dry in the rain by standing under a tree. The stream is bone dry. Are the clothes dry yet? The paint should be dry in a few hours. a stretch of dry weather a country with a very dry climate This plant does well in dry conditions. The chicken was dry and tasteless.

Verb

I'll wash the dishes if you dry them. Make sure you dry your hands. He dried himself with the towel. Stop crying and dry your eyes. I'll wash and you dry, okay? Your shirt is drying on the clothesline.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And that’s before Social Security’s trust fund runs dry in 2035. Rachel Greszler, National Review, "Taxing Inheritances Won’t Fix Social Security," 9 July 2019 The taps in Vani's home in a working-class suburb of this South Indian city ran dry a month ago. Anchorage Daily News, "As a major Indian city runs out of water, 9 million people pray for rain," 2 July 2019 Just be sure the filter is bone dry before reinstalling it. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "A Breath of Fresh Air: A Smart Buyer's Guide to Air Filters," 1 July 2019 My one beauty essential is eye cream, as my skin is so dry. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Cindy Sherman Opens Up About Her Ageless Style," 26 June 2019 The money would come from the Health and Human Services levy fund, which is expected to run dry next year because the need for services exceeds the revenues generated by taxes. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland.com, "Cuyahoga County to consider first-year money for Say Yes to Education in Cleveland," 25 June 2019 Millions nationwide abandoned their homes because villages ran out of water—in Chennai, the four reservoirs supplying the city ran dry—as drought ravaged a quarter of India and water tables sank lower than ever. Samar Halarnkar, Quartz India, "India’s battling one crisis after another, but parliament and media are obsessed with the irrelevant," 24 June 2019 The tiny library would have to be under a giant umbrella (which would blow away) and far enough away from the incoming tides to keep the books dry. Beth Thames | Bethmthames@gmail.com, al.com, "We need Little Free Libraries at the beach," 19 June 2019 Rihanna is a source of beauty inspiration that never runs dry. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Rihanna's Lavender Jade Nails Will Make You Want To Realign Your Chakras," 10 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Their spaces were dominated by faux farmhouse furniture, along with such totemic accessories as bunches of dried lavender in pitchers, floral-print bedspreads and ceramic grasshoppers. Alexander Lobrano, WSJ, "The New Provence: From Quaint to Uber-Chic," 11 July 2019 Singer appeared to have blood around the right corner of his mouth, the skin at the top of his chest appeared to be red, and there was a bite mark on his left arm and dried blood at the top of his right ear, police. Akira Kyles, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Westminster man charged with assault after alleged argument," 11 July 2019 Originally from Staten Island, N.Y., Tricia Jarecki remembers sheets of her grandmother’s homemade pasta drying in the family kitchen. Michael Mcandrews, courant.com, "Gourmet Road Trip: Vermont’s artisanal foods beckon," 11 July 2019 Shannon was even able to blow dry her friend's hair for her for the occasion. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Christina Anstead's Husband Met Her Best Friend Shannon Houseton in The Funniest Way," 10 July 2019 Next up: Sprinkling fresh and dried oregano on a slice of pizza. Bon Appétit, "Oregano is For So Much More Than Pizza," 9 July 2019 Your hair is damaged if after showering, your hair dries almost instantly. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, "The Only Ways You Can Actually Fix Damaged Hair, According to Styling Pros," 9 July 2019 The program aims to help the community reduce overgrown and dried-out vegetation to reduce fire hazards. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Brother Benno’s plans luau fundraiser," 8 July 2019 They are crushed to extract their oil and the remaining pulp is dried and powdered. The Economist, "Beetles and flies are becoming part of the agricultural food chain," 4 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Restoration is not as simple as a wash and blow-dry. Byron Mccauley, Cincinnati.com, "The fatal drowning rate for black kids is stark. History is part of that.," 13 June 2019 Similarly, when a drop of watercolor paint dries, the pigment particles of color break outward, toward the rim of the drop. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study: modern masters like Jackson Pollock were “intuitive physicists”," 26 Dec. 2018 When a tract of dry, thorny tropical forest was cleared to make way for pasture, a strange moonscape of single-story conical earthen mounds was revealed—200 million of them in fact, spaced at regular intervals as though manmade. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Found: A Field of Termite Mounds You Can See From Space," 19 Nov. 2018 If cornbread still has some moisture, spread over 2 large baking sheets and toast in oven at 375 degrees until dry, about 5 minutes. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, "Everyone’s Secret-Favorite Thanksgiving Dish," 8 Nov. 2018 Instead, stuff the wet Vans with white paper towels and let them air-dry away from heat and sunlight. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean White Vans so They Look Brand New," 17 May 2019 Usually officials look for guard hairs, the long, crinkly hairs that keep Tibetan antelope dry in the wild. National Geographic, "A rare antelope is being killed to make $20,000 scarves," 24 Apr. 2019 Made with cooling and sweat-wicking micro mesh fabric, the breathable underwear dries within nine hours, which is twice as fast as a standard pair of THINX, and has the capacity to absorb one and a half tampons. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "THINX Is Launching Quick Drying Period Proof Underwear," 22 May 2019 Be aware that thinsets take longer to dry, so take special care to use spacers for every tile to keep them from settling or shifting before the thinset dries. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "Your Quick and Dirty Guide to Tiling a Kitchen Backsplash," 26 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dry.' 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 dry

Adjective

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

Verb

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dry

Adjective, Verb, and Noun

Middle English, from Old English drȳge; akin to Old High German truckan dry, Old English drēahnian to drain

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dry

Dictionary Entries near dry

druv

druxy

Druze

dry

dryad

dryas

dryasdust

Statistics for dry

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dry

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dry

dry

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having no or very little water or liquid
: no longer wet
: having no rain or little rain

dry

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dry (Entry 2 of 2)

: to remove water or moisture from (something or someone) : to make (something or someone) dry
: to make plates, dishes, pots, etc., dry by rubbing them with a towel
: to become dry

dry

adjective
\ ˈdrī How to pronounce dry (audio) \
drier; driest

Kids Definition of dry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not wet or moist Are the clothes dry?
2 : having little or no rain a dry climate
3 : not being in or under water dry land
4 : having little natural moisture a dry throat
5 : no longer liquid or sticky The paint is dry.
6 : containing no liquid a dry creek
7 : not giving milk a dry cow
8 : not producing desired results a dry spell
9 : not producing a wet substance from the body a dry cough dry sobs
10 : funny but expressed in a serious way He has a dry sense of humor.
11 : uninteresting a dry lecture
12 : not sweet dry wines

Other Words from dry

dryly or drily adverb
dryness noun

dry

verb
dried; drying

Kids Definition of dry (Entry 2 of 2)

: to remove or lose any moisture Help me dry the dishes.

dry

adjective
\ ˈdrī How to pronounce dry (audio) \
drier\ ˈdrī(-​ə)r How to pronounce drier (audio) \; driest\ ˈdrī-​əst How to pronounce driest (audio) \

Medical Definition of dry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : marked by the absence or scantiness of secretions, effusions, or other forms of moisture
2 of a cough : not accompanied by the raising of mucus or phlegm

dry

verb
dried; drying

Medical Definition of dry (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make dry

intransitive verb

: to become dry

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dry

Spanish Central: Translation of dry

Nglish: Translation of dry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dry for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dry

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

WORD OF THE DAY

characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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