dry up


Definition of dry up 

transitive verb

: to cut off the supply of

intransitive verb

1 : to disappear as if by evaporation, draining, or cutting off of a source of supply

2 : to wither or die through gradual loss of vitality

3 : to stop talking

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Synonyms & Antonyms for dry up


belt up [British], clam up, dummy up, hush, pipe down, quiet (down), shut up


speak, talk

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Examples of dry up in a Sentence

sick of her constant complaining, he angrily told her to dry up

Recent Examples on the Web

For one, the market for trading emissions credits—which has previously been Tesla's path to profitable quarters—has dried up. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Tesla delivered 83,500 vehicles in Q3 2018 despite “logistics hell”," 2 Oct. 2018 The state’s teacher ranks dwindled during the recession as funding dried up. Phillip Reese, sacbee, "California schools are short of teachers. One reason? They’re going to Texas," 29 May 2018 The rift has come at a heavy price: Since the new tax rules were approved late last year, these donors' usually generous support for House and Senate Republican groups has noticeably dried up. Rebecca Berg, CNN, "Top GOP donors close wallets over tax law," 14 May 2018 Oil exports make up the vast majority of Venezuela’s dollar earnings but have cratered as its access to capital dried up. Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "Scurria’s Take: Venezuela’s Citgo Payments Puzzle Wall Street," 1 Nov. 2018 The reason: Federal funding for gun studies largely dried up 20 years ago. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Do gun policies save lives? Lack of research means we just don't know," 2 Mar. 2018 The Flow, the extra-dimensional path that connects the distant planets, is drying up, and Emperox Grayland II, the leader of the Interdependency is forced to take measures to save her subjects. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "10 new sci-fi and fantasy books to check out for the rest of October," 15 Oct. 2018 According to Michael, some in her organization are getting out because the work is drying up, even during these busy summer months. Meredith Goldstein, BostonGlobe.com, "Wedding bells are ringing, but justices of the peace aren’t getting the call," 18 June 2018 Franklin struggled on through the 1970s, but funding dried up. Amanda Laugesen, Smithsonian, "This Cold War-Era Publishing House Wanted To Share American Values With the World," 13 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Dictionary Entries near dry up

dry suit


Dry Tortugas

dry up

dry valve


dry wash

Statistics for dry up

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dry up

The first known use of dry up was in the 14th century

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More from Merriam-Webster on dry up

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dry up

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dry up

Britannica English: Translation of dry up for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dry up

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


living or existing for a long time

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