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

And his perennially dry, stream-of-conscious wit was at the core of his art. BostonGlobe.com, "Ric Ocasek was a tall, gangly genius who became a master of nonchalance, a savant of alienation, and a beatnik-spiced songwriter the likes of which rock ’n’ roll had rarely seen.," 17 Sep. 2019 Once the hair is completely dry, wrap one-inch sections of hair around a one-inch curling iron in a downward motion, instructs Lordet. Susan Brickell, Health.com, "Selena Gomez Is Embracing Her Natural Curls for Fall—and We Have Stylist Tips to Get Her Look," 16 Sep. 2019 Southern Harrison County in Indiana is in a moderate drought as well, and Clark and Harrison counties are each considered to be abnormally dry, which means conditions could be trending toward a drought (or, in some cases, coming out of a drought). Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Blazing heat. No rain. Louisville is in the midst of a moderate drought," 13 Sep. 2019 Some other adult-friendly amenities on the Scarlet Lady will include a tattoo parlor, a mani/pedi studio, a world-class spa, a nightclub, an athletic center and a blow-dry bar. Madison Roberts, PEOPLE.com, "Richard Branson's Adults-Only Cruise Line Reveals Uniforms — and They Look Like Sexy Superheroes," 13 Sep. 2019 Last year was unbelievably dry, not only in November but September and October. Laura Urseny, The Mercury News, "Fire fall: Potential for ‘large’ wildfires in Northern California above average," 11 Sep. 2019 The fires are being aided by dry, swift winds and low humidity -- and there's no prospect of rain for the next week, said Bruce Gunn, the Bureau of Meteorology's Queensland state manager. Julia Hollingsworth, CNN, "Australia's severe fires an 'omen' of blazes to come," 9 Sep. 2019 Thanks to the quick-dry formula, the application process is quicker than regular nail polish and lasts four times as long. Elizabeth Denton, Seventeen, "13 Things You Need To Know Before Getting a Gel Manicure," 6 Sep. 2019 Peppers, onions and chile oil couldn’t revive the stone-dry meat of Crispy, Spicy & Savory Chicken, nor the hard knobs of pork rib and knots of crispy rice in Sichuan Rice Crust Ribs. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "Review: Li’s Restaurant gives Chinese food fans a Sichuan fix in San Antonio’s Stone Oak," 5 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Another was to blow dried scabs up a person’s nose. Anna Rothschild, Washington Post, "Five surprising moments in vaccine history," 5 Sep. 2019 Think non-perishable foods like nuts or dried fruits that can provide you with that boost of energy if you’re stranded on the side of the road. 10. Max Cohen, USA TODAY, "Hitting the road? Packing these 10 simple things could save your life," 31 Aug. 2019 Remove from the heat, and stir in the brown sugar and dried hibiscus flowers until the sugar dissolves. Maria Zizka, Los Angeles Times, "Five or Fewer: Chill out with these summertime sweets," 30 Aug. 2019 Into that would go enough dried pasta for both dishes—a little over a pound for five people. Adam Rapoport, Bon Appétit, "Two Pastas Are Better Than One," 27 Aug. 2019 Imperial’s technology won’t show up in Auxly’s vape devices when they’re first released on Dec. 16, the day vapes, edibles, and beverages will join dried flower and oils on legal Canadian store shelves. Kristine Owram, BostonGlobe.com, "Pot vape race heats up as store count grows," 26 Aug. 2019 Although there might be some confusion as to where hominy comes from, it is made from dried whole yellow or white corn kernels. al, "Serve a meal inspired by Alabama’s 200-year history," 20 Aug. 2019 Inside there are almonds, pecans, dried apricots, coconut and little chocolate chips. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Ready for this year’s Epcot Food & Wine Fest? This sneak peek may help your strategy," 19 Aug. 2019 Switch up your hot tool usage: After you shampoo, blow dry your hair; on day two, use a curling iron or straightener; on day three, slick strands back to avoid heat-styling. Paige Stables, Good Housekeeping, "12 Healthy Hair Habits You Should Adopt ASAP," 14 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Smooth it on damp hair to air-dry, or use it as a finishing cream on your ends. Olivia Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "Clean Hair Care Is Hard—But Not Impossible," 12 Aug. 2019 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

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

22 Sep 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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