dry run


Definition of dry run 

1 : a practice exercise : rehearsal, trial

2 : a practice firing without ammunition

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for dry run


practice (also practise), rehearsal, trial

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of dry run in a Sentence

We did a dry run of the experiment. After several dry runs, she was ready to give the speech.

Recent Examples on the Web

THE KEY Maryland may be getting a dry run in how to respond to an election cyberattack. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "The Cybersecurity 202: Maryland ballot snafu offers lessons in how to respond to an election hack," 26 June 2018 Follow these expert tips for keeping your pet comfortable: Get your pet used to the feeling of being in a car with a few dry runs. NBC News, "How to keep your pet safe on a flight," 30 Mar. 2018 The dry run for that campaign was the successful recall of Josh Newman, a Democratic state senator in Orange County. David Weigel, Washington Post, "The votes from California’s primary are finally in. Here’s what we learned.," 6 July 2018 Sais, who had a border crossing card, did a dry run with the help of another man from the casino. Kristina Davis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Ex-Tijuana judge says money woes led to cocaine smuggling," 3 July 2018 His latest remarks suggest that was a dry run for a bigger fight on cars. Jacob M. Schlesinger, WSJ, "Trump Cites Car-Tariff Threat as Biggest Trade Leverage," 1 July 2018 But tracking this space rock to the ground sparked weeks-long global hunt that led to a remote part of Africa, and served as a dry run for the day when a dangerous asteroid might be headed this way. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "For Just 2nd Time Ever, Meteor Hunters Recover Chunks of Rock They Tracked From Space," 9 July 2018 The visit was seen as a dry run for his summit with President Trump. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "Not a Light Traveler: When Kim Met Xi, He Brought His Maybach," 10 May 2018 This dry run didn't take place in New York, however, but rather at a special event in New Orleans. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "The Team Behind the Old Four Seasons Is Putting Together a New One," 28 Mar. 2017

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

circa 1941, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dry run

Dictionary Entries near dry run


dry rot

dry rubble

dry run



dry sand

Statistics for dry run

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dry run

The first known use of dry run was circa 1941

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dry run

dry run


English Language Learners Definition of dry run

: a practice event that is done to prepare for the actual event that will happen in the future

More from Merriam-Webster on dry run

See words that rhyme with dry run

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dry run

Comments on dry run

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


a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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