dry up

dried up; drying up; dries 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for dry up



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of dry up in a Sentence

sick of her constant complaining, he angrily told her to dry up
Recent Examples on the Web Major financial assistance isn’t yet confirmed for restaurants, and benefits for those who are out-of-work may dry up soon. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "'Something has to give': Bay Area restaurants consider closing due to possible outdoor dining ban," 4 Dec. 2020 In a year that has been unprecedented for all the wrong reasons, Central Florida’s nonprofit sector has often been keep afloat by COVID-relief grants from the government — money that is expected to dry up by year’s end. Kate Santich, orlandosentinel.com, "Holiday Giving," 30 Nov. 2020 Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette dismissed concerns that overseas efforts to limit climate change and curb pollution could dry up markets for U.S. fossil fuel exports. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Trump’s energy chief dismisses foreign threats to US fossil fuel exports," 28 Oct. 2020 Across the country, business owners in college towns share the fear that student support could dry up almost entirely, and many are scrambling for survival strategies. Larry Lage, Star Tribune, "Small businesses in college towns struggle without students," 27 Aug. 2020 The Minnesota Legislature late Monday night approved a COVID-19 relief package, providing aid to struggling businesses and extending unemployment insurance to workers whose benefits could dry up after the holidays. Briana Bierschbach Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Minnesota lawmakers pass COVID-19 relief package for businesses, workers," 14 Dec. 2020 On Wednesday, bond buying forced down the interest rate on the 10-year government debt to just below 0.8%, showing that investors were looking for safety and increasingly worried that economic growth could dry up. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "Federal Reserve leaves interest rates unchanged," 5 Nov. 2020 Her father Ray, 58, a carpenter and tour guide in Monument Valley, saw his work dry up completely. Simon Romero, New York Times, "They Had Big Dreams. Now, ‘We’re Just Trying to Stay Alive.’," 3 Nov. 2020 When Michigan and the rest of the country closed up, only to emerge in a new, masked and socially distanced world, Roy saw projects dry up. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Laid off executive finds cutting edge approach to helping others job hunt," 25 Sep. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of dry up

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dry up

Time Traveler for dry up

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for dry up

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dry up.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dry%20up. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

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


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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