ar·​id | \ ˈa-rəd How to pronounce arid (audio) , ˈer-əd \

Definition of arid

1 : excessively dry specifically : having insufficient rainfall to support agriculture an arid region
2 : lacking in interest and life : jejune arid textbooks

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from arid

aridity \ ə-​ˈri-​də-​tē How to pronounce arid (audio) , a-​ \ noun
aridness \ ˈa-​rəd-​nəs How to pronounce arid (audio) , ˈer-​əd-​ \ noun

Examples of arid in a Sentence

a dull and arid textbook an arid speech about duty and responsibility
Recent Examples on the Web Archaeologists had long assumed that this semi-arid region played only a peripheral role in history. Tobias Richter, Scientific American, 16 Aug. 2021 The book is set in the near future, and its version of California is so arid, hot and flammable that water is too scarce to go around. New York Times, 30 July 2021 Diverse geography, including lush forests and mountains and semi-arid areas, contrasts with Santo Domingo's historic Cuidad Colonial -- a lively and romantic spot to explore. CNN, 24 July 2021 Such a machine also could prove useful in arid regions on Earth. Marcia Dunn, USA TODAY, 23 June 2021 Deserts are hot and arid in the day, but there’s something calming and peaceful about them, and Hamed has captured this in the new collection. Allyson Portee, Forbes, 7 May 2021 The climate in the reserve is arid and cold and the growing season is limited to about two months a year. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 1 June 2021 The Sahel region, a semi-arid belt that acts as a buffer zone just south of the desert, is most affected. Nell Lewis, CNN, 17 Mar. 2021 The shifts have far-reaching implications in arid Western states, factoring into the availability of water, wildfire conditions and utilities’ forecasts of energy use, among other things. Ian James, The Arizona Republic, 4 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of arid

1652, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for arid

borrowed from French & Latin; French aride, going back to Middle French, borrowed from Latin āridus, ārdus "dry, waterless, withered, austere (of style)," derivative, with the adjective suffix -idus, of ārēre "to be dry, parched, withered," going back to Indo-European *h1eh2s-eh1-, stative derivative of a verbal base *h1eh2s- "make dry with heat," whence also Tocharian A asatär "(it) dries up," Tocharian B osotär; also from the same base a root noun *h1eh2s-, whence Hittite ḫāšš- "ashes, dust," from which as thematic derivatives Sanskrit ā́saḥ "ashes, dust," and (as a collective or noun of appurtenance?) *h1eh2s-eh2-, whence Latin āra "altar," Oscan aasaí (locative), Hittite ḫāššā- "hearth," Old High German essa, esse "forge" (from *asjō-), Old Swedish æsia, æssia "smith's fire," Old Icelandic esja "soapstone (used in hearths)" (both from *asjōn-)

Note: Regarding the apparent derivatives ardēre "to burn, emit light or flame" and ardor "burning, fierce heat," see ardent. — Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben gives the "essive" (= stative) form of the verbal base *h1eh2s as *h1h2s-h1i̯é- and attributes the length in Latin ārēre to the influence of noun derivatives such as āra. D. Adams, however, regards the original base in Tocharian A and B to have been *ās-, corresponding to the length in the Latin verb (see A Dictionary of Tocharian B, Revised and Greatly Enlarged, Rodopi, 2013, p. 63). A. Kloekhorst (Etymological Dictionary of the Hittite Inherited Lexicon, Brill, 2008, pp. 322-23) regards the short vowel in Germanic as the residue of an oblique case form *h2h̥1s- of the root noun. See also ash entry 2, azalea.

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best humidifier of 2021.

Learn More About arid

Dictionary Entries Near arid



arid cycle

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for arid

Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Arid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for arid



English Language Learners Definition of arid

: very dry : having very little rain or water
: lacking in interest and life


ar·​id | \ ˈer-əd How to pronounce arid (audio) \

Kids Definition of arid

: not having enough rainfall to support agriculture

More from Merriam-Webster on arid

Nglish: Translation of arid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of arid for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!