dry

1 of 3

adjective

drier also dryer ˈdrī(-ə)r How to pronounce dry (audio) ; driest also dryest ˈdrī-əst How to pronounce dry (audio)
1
a
: free or relatively free from a liquid and especially water
Mix the dry ingredients 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 deathWilliam 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
c
: dealing in dry goods or other nonperishable items
After breakfast, we head to the wet market along Graham Street in Hong Kong. The wet market sells foodstuffs; the adjacent dry market offers clothes, shoes, and other retail items.Rudy Maxa
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 adjective
dryly adverb
or less commonly drily
dryness noun

dry

2 of 3

verb

dried; drying

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to become dry
waiting for the paint to dry
dryable adjective

dry

3 of 3

noun

plural drys
1
: the condition of being dry (see dry entry 1) : dryness
2
: something dry
especially : a dry place
3

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
For example, sprays and lozenges are usually considered the go-to malic acid supplements for dry mouth.9 Many health food stores, pharmacies, and online retailers stock malic acid supplements. Mary Choy, Health, 14 July 2024 California farmers set to cut use of Colorado River water, temporarily leaving fields dry. Andrew J. Campa, Los Angeles Times, 14 July 2024
Verb
Growing Conditions: Full sun and average to dry soil, but no clay Height: 8 to 24 inches Zones: 4–7 06 of 09 Buffalograss Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) is one of the most cold-tolerant of the warm-season grasses. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 July 2024 But Take Note This unit must be cleaned and dried weekly to prevent pink mold and limescale buildup. Laura Lu, Ms, Parents, 15 July 2024
Noun
On the plus side, these toddler water shoes are machine washable, and the polyester webbing upper dries quickly, so kids don’t have to wait long to take them on their next adventure. Katrina Cossey, Parents, 30 May 2024 Good air circulation helps prevent disease because moving air dries wet foliage quickly, which keeps some diseases from taking hold. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for dry 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dry.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective, Verb, and Noun

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near dry

Cite this Entry

“Dry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dry. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

dry

1 of 3 adjective
drier
ˈdrī(-ə)r
; driest
ˈdrī-əst
1
: free or nearly free from liquid and especially water
dry weight
dry steam
2
: characterized by loss or lack of water: as
a
: lacking precipitation and humidity
a dry climate
b
: lacking freshness : stale
c
: low in or deprived of natural juices or moisture
dry hay
a dry fruit
3
: not being in or under water
dry land
4
b
: marked by the absence of alcoholic beverages
a dry party
c
: no longer damp or sticky
the paint is dry
5
: containing or using no liquid (as water)
a dry creek
dry heat
6
: not giving milk
a dry cow
7
: not producing phlegm
dry cough
8
: not producing or yielding what is expected or wanted
a dry oil well
9
: marked by a matter-of-fact, ironic, or terse manner of expression
dry humor
10
: failing to arouse interest or enthusiasm
a dry lecture
11
: not sweet
dry wines
12
: relating to, favoring, or practicing prohibition of alcoholic beverages
a dry county
dryly adverb
or drily
dryness noun

dry

2 of 3 verb
dried; drying
: to make or become dry

dry

3 of 3 noun
plural drys
ˈdrīz

Medical Definition

dry

1 of 2 adjective
drier ˈdrī(-ə)r How to pronounce dry (audio) ; driest ˈdrī-əst How to pronounce dry (audio)
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

2 of 2 verb
dried; drying

transitive verb

: to make dry

intransitive verb

: to become dry

More from Merriam-Webster on dry

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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