dry

1 of 3

adjective

drier also dryer ˈdrī(-ə)r How to pronounce dry (audio) ; driest also dryest ˈdrī-əst How to pronounce dry (audio)
1
a
: free or relatively free from a liquid and especially water
Mix the dry ingredients 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
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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 deathWilliam Shakespeare
5
a
: 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
8
a
: solid as opposed to liquid
dry groceries
b
: reduced to powder or flakes : dehydrated
dry milk
c
: dealing in dry goods or other nonperishable items
After breakfast, we head to the wet market along Graham Street in Hong Kong. The wet market sells foodstuffs; the adjacent dry market offers clothes, shoes, and other retail items.Rudy Maxa
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
12
a
: 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
13
a
: 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
dryish adjective
dryly adverb
or less commonly drily
dryness noun

dry

2 of 3

verb

dried; drying

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to become dry
waiting for the paint to dry
dryable adjective

dry

3 of 3

noun

plural drys
1
: the condition of being dry (see dry entry 1) : dryness
2
: something dry
especially : a dry place
3

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
These include people with compromised or sensitive skin, such as those with eczema or psoriasis, very dry skin, or individuals who sweat excessively. Alyssa Hui, Verywell Health, 20 Feb. 2024 Whether your hair is wet or dry, straight or curly, the IntelliFlex bristles effortlessly detangle hair by gliding through tangles without pulling or snagging. Rebecca Jones, Southern Living, 19 Feb. 2024 An overall count of 76 live flies in the restaurant, 50 of which were landing on boxes and dry storage shelves? David J. Neal, Miami Herald, 18 Feb. 2024 Wet weather returning to the Sacramento region this winter means those looking to stay active are more likely to do so indoors than when the area saw more dry conditions throughout the last decade. Chris Biderman, Sacramento Bee, 17 Feb. 2024 When the waste was fairly dry, the resulting compost was easy to clean. Paige Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Feb. 2024 Use it wet or dry to increase blood circulation and slough off that dead winter skin. Michelle Duncan, Rolling Stone, 16 Feb. 2024 Scientists and researchers can use the space as a dry lab, while educators can create a more traditional computer workstation setup. Jim Dobson, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 The dry conditions, largely fueled by El Niño, contributed to wildfires that scorched parts of both nations, according to Wednesday's report. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 7 Feb. 2024
Verb
The inspector saw someone wash and rinse a pan, then put it on the drying rack. David J. Neal, Miami Herald, 18 Feb. 2024 When dried, our hair felt a lot softer and looked bouncier and more refreshed. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 15 Feb. 2024 This was at the beginning of a drying phase that began about 5,000 years ago, so rainfall probably was much greater than in today’s desert climate, and the annual floods of the Nile, now mostly suppressed by the Aswan Dam, were typically much higher. Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Feb. 2024 Ketel One Green Mary 1 oz Ketel One Family-Made Vodka 3.5 oz freshly juiced celery and cucumber in equal parts 0.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice 1 pinch rock salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and dried chili flakes Add all ingredients to the glass, stir well, add ice. Claudia Alarcón, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 The material is breathable and dries quickly, crafted from bounce-resistant Naked Exopower mesh that’s lightweight and won’t chafe. Lauren Breedlove, Travel + Leisure, 15 Feb. 2024 The leaves make excellent tea, said to aid digestion, and the peel, when dried, can be combined with bay leaves to make another tea that is said to be good for colds. Yotam Ottolenghi, New York Times, 14 Feb. 2024 When temperatures drop in the winter, the soil dries and northern fronts bring in high winds. Christopher Torres, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 9 Feb. 2024 Employees couldn’t wash or dry their hands at the cookline handwash sink, what with no soap, paper towels or blower. David J. Neal, Miami Herald, 9 Feb. 2024
Noun
As summer gives way to fall, the growth slows, then comes to a halt, and the velvet dies and dries. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, 10 Jan. 2024 This Revlon hot air brush blow dries, styles, and smooths simultaneously to give you a salon-worthy blowout at home. Jamie Allison Sanders, Peoplemag, 18 Nov. 2023 Unfold and glue the two end pieces together to form a bell (use a paper clip to hold the pieces together until the glue dries). Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Nov. 2023 Add sprinkles quickly: Make sure to sprinkle before the coating dries. Pam Lolley, Southern Living, 11 Nov. 2023 However, after the disinfectant dries, food-contact surfaces should typically be rinsed with a wet rag or paper towel. Jessica Comstock, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 Oct. 2023 Thinking about skipping the blow dries or leaving your flat iron at home? Theresa Holland, Travel + Leisure, 18 Oct. 2023 In this case, the glue will act as the main hold while the screws essentially serve as clamps until the adhesive dries. Jean Levasseur, Popular Science, 26 July 2023 The drupe fruit contains a small pit in the middle exposed when the fleshy exterior dries and splits open. USA TODAY, 4 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dry.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective, Verb, and Noun

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near dry

Cite this Entry

“Dry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dry. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

dry

1 of 3 adjective
drier
ˈdrī(-ə)r
; driest
ˈdrī-əst
1
: free or nearly free from liquid and especially water
dry weight
dry steam
2
: characterized by loss or lack of water: as
a
: lacking precipitation and humidity
a dry climate
b
: lacking freshness : stale
c
: low in or deprived of natural juices or moisture
dry hay
a dry fruit
3
: not being in or under water
dry land
4
b
: marked by the absence of alcoholic beverages
a dry party
c
: no longer damp or sticky
the paint is dry
5
: containing or using no liquid (as water)
a dry creek
dry heat
6
: not giving milk
a dry cow
7
: not producing phlegm
dry cough
8
: not producing or yielding what is expected or wanted
a dry oil well
9
: marked by a matter-of-fact, ironic, or terse manner of expression
dry humor
10
: failing to arouse interest or enthusiasm
a dry lecture
11
: not sweet
dry wines
12
: relating to, favoring, or practicing prohibition of alcoholic beverages
a dry county
dryly adverb
or drily
dryness noun

dry

2 of 3 verb
dried; drying
: to make or become dry

dry

3 of 3 noun
plural drys
ˈdrīz

Medical Definition

dry

1 of 2 adjective
drier ˈdrī(-ə)r How to pronounce dry (audio) ; driest ˈdrī-əst How to pronounce dry (audio)
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

2 of 2 verb
dried; drying

transitive verb

: to make dry

intransitive verb

: to become dry

More from Merriam-Webster on dry

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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