dry hole


: a well (as for gas or oil) that proves unproductive

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Consider using hydraulic fracturing for hybrid EGS applications where conventional applications have encountered the geothermal equivalent of a dry hole – natural fractures were not encountered during drilling but could be intersected by fracturing. Ian Palmer, Forbes, 19 May 2022 But in San Diego, the search for crude has led to one dry hole after another. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Nov. 2021 For their part, company representatives deny the Bowknot well was a dry hole. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Mar. 2021 January and February, normally the wettest months, formed a dry hole in the middle of the rainy season. Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2020 But please, tell us more about how a field featuring a popular former vice president, four accomplished senators (and the reportedly annoying mayor of South Bend, Ind., for some reason) is a dry hole. BostonGlobe.com, 13 Nov. 2019 The little money Mesa made was all too often sucked down by yet another dry hole. Cyrus Sanati, Fortune, 14 Sep. 2019 After drilling $22 million worth of dry holes in 2011, Barrow-Shaver had jumped at Raptor’s offer. Janet Elliott, Houston Chronicle, 5 July 2019 Investors see the oil industry’s conventional business model, in which companies spend billions of collars upfront for prospects that could turn out to be dry hole sas too risky. Collin Eaton, Houston Chronicle, 3 May 2018 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1883, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dry hole was in 1883

Dictionary Entries Near dry hole

Cite this Entry

“Dry hole.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dry%20hole. Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

What Did You Just Call Me?

  • brown chihuahua sitting on the floor with squinting eyes looking at the camera
  • Before we went to her house, Hannah told us her aunt was a flibbertigibbet.
True or False

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

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?