dry

adjective
\ ˈdrī How to pronounce dry (audio) \
drier also dryer\ ˈdrī(-​ə)r How to pronounce dryer (audio) \; driest also dryest\ ˈdrī-​əst How to pronounce dryest (audio) \

Definition of dry

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : free or relatively free from a liquid and especially water Mix the dry indgredients 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
2a : 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
3a : 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 death— William Shakespeare
5a : 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
8a : solid as opposed to liquid dry groceries
b : reduced to powder or flakes : dehydrated dry milk
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
12a : 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
13a : 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

dry

verb
dried; drying

Definition of dry (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to become dry waiting for the paint to dry

dry

noun
plural drys

Definition of dry (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Other Words from dry

Adjective

dryish \ ˈdrī-​ish How to pronounce dryish (audio) \ adjective
dryly or less commonly drily adverb
dryness noun

Verb

dryable \ ˈdrī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce dryable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for dry

Synonyms: Adjective

arid, droughty, sere (also sear), thirsty, waterless

Synonyms: Verb

dehydrate, desiccate, parch, scorch, sear

Antonyms: Adjective

damp, dank, humid, moist, wet

Antonyms: Verb

hydrate, wash, water, wet

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Though everyone around them was sweating horribly, the O’Rourkes looked dry and cool—thanks to a lifetime of practice in the El Paso, Texas, heat, maybe. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "How Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro Respond to Trump’s War on Immigrants," 7 Aug. 2019 If the dough seems dry, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Lisa Yockelson, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: Fill these golden cheese biscuits with turkey, mustard-mayo, chutney, and arugula," 5 Aug. 2019 Bayer’s pesticide sales struggled in Europe too, because of unusually dry weather. Los Angeles Times, "Bayer CEO opens door to settling Roundup cancer cases," 30 July 2019 Blend in dry ingredients gradually, adding the nuts last. Heloise, Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: This is fine to sub for wine," 17 July 2019 Because some of that dry air is reaching South Florida’s atmosphere, the region’s chances of showers and thunderstorms are decreasing. Doug Phillips, sun-sentinel.com, "Tropical wave not likely to become a named storm; South Florida’s weekend weather looking good (and hot)," 12 July 2019 Baby powder is mostly talc, a mineral that is used to keep skin dry and as an astringent to prevent diaper rash. Jef Feeley, latimes.com, "J&J faces criminal investigation over baby powder’s potential cancer risks," 12 July 2019 Without the plan, the lake conceivably could have been sucked dry – a devastating prospect for 40 million people who live in the Colorado River Basin. John Fleck, The Conversation, "Western states buy time with a 7-year Colorado River drought plan, but face a hotter, drier future," 10 July 2019 Here are some tips to help keep you dry and smelling fresh this summer. 1. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, "It's getting hot in here: 4 ways to keep from sweating through your clothes this summer," 9 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This compacts them into a rich fuel for wildfires that burn for months at a time, releasing an astonishing amount of carbon into the atmosphere, leading to more warming and more dried peat to burn. Matt Simon, WIRED, "New IPCC Report Shows How Our Abuse of Land Drives Climate Change," 8 Aug. 2019 In that era of post-Soviet economic depression, many families short on money grew their own food, transforming their kitchens into storerooms of pickled vegetables, dried mushrooms and sacks of homegrown potatoes. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "Russians Pull Out Credit Cards, and Consumer Debt Spirals," 5 Aug. 2019 Wearing wet clothes and generating body heat is very effective at drying. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "How To Camp in the Rain Like a Pro," 5 Aug. 2019 The message to Millennial and Gen Z climbers, backpackers and skiers: This isn’t your father’s dried fruit. Olivia Rockeman, Fortune, "The U.S.-China Trade War Is Forcing Prunes to Rebrand as a Millennial Superfood," 2 Aug. 2019 In Stebbins, the Bering Sea shoreline is ruler straight, racks of drying salmon lining the shore. Kyle Hopkins, ProPublica, "Clergy Abused an Entire Generation in This Village. With New Traumas, Justice Remains Elusive.," 26 July 2019 The moss was first boiled and broken down in fresh water, and then turned into a white powder through alcohol treatments and drying. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "The Most Irish Town in America Was Built on Seaweed," 23 July 2019 Most memorable is a tropical parfait made with pineapple compote, tapioca, coconut dried meringue and passion fruit sorbet. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "The world’s best waterfront restaurants promise more than a view," 23 July 2019 The shop features seasonally and naturally grown flowers for all occasions, including floral bouquets, handmade wreaths, dried floral arrangements, artwork, and seasonal decorations. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "NEPS Opens Full Service Florist Shop," 22 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The mascara quickly dries, forming a flexible coating that adds color, thickness and length. Michelle King, Seventeen, "Cry Baby Semi-Permanent Mascara," 14 July 2011 Nourish dry, cracked hands with this heavy-duty cream that topped our Beauty Lab’s recent test. The Good Housekeeping Institute, Good Housekeeping, "GH Seal Spotlight: Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream," 28 June 2019 As the soil dries, the animals enter a state of diapause—or dormancy—that can last for decades, Tim Maret, an ecologist at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, says by email. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "Like magic, these habitats disappear and reappear each spring," 20 Mar. 2019 Here, several reasons to ditch your styling tools in favor of an organic dry, all courtesy of the most unexpected source. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Kim Kardashian West Is Officially Over the Blowout—and Into This Easy 5 Second Hairstyle," 24 July 2018 Restoration is not as simple as a wash and blow-dry. Byron Mccauley, Cincinnati.com, "The fatal drowning rate for black kids is stark. History is part of that.," 13 June 2019 Similarly, when a drop of watercolor paint dries, the pigment particles of color break outward, toward the rim of the drop. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study: modern masters like Jackson Pollock were “intuitive physicists”," 26 Dec. 2018 When a tract of dry, thorny tropical forest was cleared to make way for pasture, a strange moonscape of single-story conical earthen mounds was revealed—200 million of them in fact, spaced at regular intervals as though manmade. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Found: A Field of Termite Mounds You Can See From Space," 19 Nov. 2018 If cornbread still has some moisture, spread over 2 large baking sheets and toast in oven at 375 degrees until dry, about 5 minutes. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, "Everyone’s Secret-Favorite Thanksgiving Dish," 8 Nov. 2018

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

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

History and Etymology for dry

Adjective, Verb, and Noun

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

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Learn More about dry

Dictionary Entries near dry

druv

druxy

Druze

dry

dryad

dryas

dryasdust

Statistics for dry

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dry

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

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More Definitions for dry

dry

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having no or very little water or liquid
: no longer wet
: having no rain or little rain

dry

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dry (Entry 2 of 2)

: to remove water or moisture from (something or someone) : to make (something or someone) dry
: to make plates, dishes, pots, etc., dry by rubbing them with a towel
: to become dry

dry

adjective
\ ˈdrī How to pronounce dry (audio) \
drier; driest

Kids Definition of dry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not wet or moist Are the clothes dry?
2 : having little or no rain a dry climate
3 : not being in or under water dry land
4 : having little natural moisture a dry throat
5 : no longer liquid or sticky The paint is dry.
6 : containing no liquid a dry creek
7 : not giving milk a dry cow
8 : not producing desired results a dry spell
9 : not producing a wet substance from the body a dry cough dry sobs
10 : funny but expressed in a serious way He has a dry sense of humor.
11 : uninteresting a dry lecture
12 : not sweet dry wines

Other Words from dry

dryly or drily adverb
dryness noun

dry

verb
dried; drying

Kids Definition of dry (Entry 2 of 2)

: to remove or lose any moisture Help me dry the dishes.

dry

adjective
\ ˈdrī How to pronounce dry (audio) \
drier\ ˈdrī(-​ə)r How to pronounce drier (audio) \; driest\ ˈdrī-​əst How to pronounce driest (audio) \

Medical Definition of dry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

verb
dried; drying

Medical Definition of dry (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make dry

intransitive verb

: to become dry

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More from Merriam-Webster on dry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dry

Spanish Central: Translation of dry

Nglish: Translation of dry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dry for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dry

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