1

dry

adjective \ ˈdrī \
Updated on: 20 Nov 2017

Definition of dry

drier also dryer play \ˈdrī(-ə)r\; driest also dryest play \ˈdrī-əst\
1 a :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
2 a :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
3 a :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
5 a :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
8 a :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
12 a :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
13 a :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

dryish

play \ˈdrī-ish\ adjective

drily

or dryly adverb

dryness

noun

Examples of dry in a Sentence

  1. Mix the dry ingredients first, then add the milk and eggs.

  2. the dry heat of the desert

  3. We tried to stay dry in the rain by standing under a tree.

  4. The stream is bone dry.

  5. Are the clothes dry yet?

  6. The paint should be dry in a few hours.

  7. a stretch of dry weather

  8. a country with a very dry climate

  9. This plant does well in dry conditions.

  10. The chicken was dry and tasteless.

Recent Examples of dry from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of dry

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

Other Climate/Meteorology Terms


2

dry

verb

Definition of dry

dried; drying
transitive verb
:to make dry (see 1dry)
  • drying her hair
intransitive verb
:to become dry
  • waiting for the paint to dry

dryable

play \ˈdrī-ə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of dry in a Sentence

  1. I'll wash the dishes if you dry them.

  2. Make sure you dry your hands.

  3. He dried himself with the towel.

  4. Stop crying and dry your eyes.

  5. I'll wash and you dry, okay?

  6. Your shirt is drying on the clothesline.

Recent Examples of dry from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of dry

see 1dry


3

dry

noun

Definition of dry

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

Recent Examples of dry from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of dry

see 1dry


DRY Defined for English Language Learners

dry

adjective

Definition of dry for English Language Learners

  • : having no or very little water or liquid

  • : no longer wet

  • : having no rain or little rain


dry

verb

Definition of dry for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

dry

adjective \ ˈdrī \

Definition of dry for Students

drier; driest
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

dryly

or drily adverb

dryness

noun

2

dry

verb

Definition of dry for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

1

dry

adjective \ ˈdrī \

medical Definition of dry

drier play \ˈdrī(-ə)r\; driest play \ˈdrī-əst\
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

2

dry

verb

medical Definition of dry

dried; drying
transitive verb
:to make dry
intransitive verb
:to become dry


Seen and Heard

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