keep one's powder dry

Definition of keep one's powder dry

old-fashioned
:to be calm and ready for a possible problem in the future
  • They don't know how the election will turn out, so for now they're just keeping their powder dry.

Word by Word Definitions

keep play
  1. : to retain in one's possession or power

  2. : to refrain from granting, giving, or allowing

  3. : to have in control

  1. : the means or provisions by which one is kept

  2. : one that keeps or protects: such as

  3. : fortress, castle

powder play
  1. : to sprinkle or cover with or as if with powder

  2. : to reduce or convert to powder

  3. : to hit very hard

  1. : matter in a finely divided state : particulate matter

  2. : a preparation in the form of fine particles especially for medicinal or cosmetic use

  3. : fine dry light snow

dry play
  1. : free or relatively free from a liquid and especially water

  2. : not being in or under water

  3. : lacking precipitation or humidity

  1. : to make dry (see 1dry)

  2. : to become dry

  1. : the condition of being dry (see 1dry) : dryness

  2. : something dry

  3. : prohibitionist


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