adjective, dri·er, dri·est.
- free from moisture or excess moisture; not moist; not wet: a dry towel; dry air.
- having or characterized by little or no rain: a dry climate; the dry season.
- characterized by absence, deficiency, or failure of natural or ordinary moisture.
- not under, in, or on water: It was good to be on dry land.
- not now containing or yielding water or other liquid; depleted or empty of liquid: The well is dry.
- not yielding milk: a dry cow.
- free from tears: dry eyes.
- drained or evaporated away: a dry river.
- desiring drink; thirsty: He was so dry he could hardly speak.
- causing thirst: dry work.
- served or eaten without butter, jam, etc.: dry toast.
- (of cooked food) lacking enough moisture or juice to be satisfying or succulent.
- (of bread and bakery products) stale.
- of or relating to nonliquid substances or commodities: dry measure; dry provisions.
- (of wines) not sweet.
- (of a cocktail)
- made with dry vermouth: a dry Manhattan.
- made with relatively little dry vermouth: a dry martini.
- characterized by or favoring prohibition of the manufacture and sale of alcoholic liquors for use in beverages: a dry state.
- (of British biscuits) not sweet.
- plain; bald; unadorned: dry facts.
- dull; uninteresting: a dry subject.
- expressed in a straight-faced, matter-of-fact way: dry humor.
- indifferent; cold; unemotional: a dry answer.
- unproductive: The greatest of artists have dry years.
- (of lumber) fully seasoned.
- Building Trades.
- (of masonry construction) built without fresh mortar or cement.
- (of a wall, ceiling, etc., in an interior) finished without the use of fresh plaster.
- insufficiently glazed.
- Art. hard and formal in outline, or lacking mellowness and warmth in color.
verb (used with object), dried, dry·ing.
- to make dry; free from moisture: to dry the dishes.
verb (used without object), dried, dry·ing.
- to become dry; lose moisture.
noun, plural drys, dries.
- a prohibitionist.
- a dry place, area, or region.
- dry out,
- to make or become completely dry.
- to undergo or cause to undergo detoxification from consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol.
- dry up,
- to make or become completely dry.
- to cease to exist; evaporate.
- Informal.to stop talking.
- (in acting) to forget one’s lines or part.
- not dry behind the ears, immature; unsophisticated: Adult responsibilities were forced on him, although he was still not dry behind the ears.
- (intr) to become barren or unproductive; failin middle age his inspiration dried up
- to dry (dishes, cutlery, etc) with a tea towel after they have been washed
- (intr) informal to stop talking or speakingwhen I got on the stage I just dried up; dry up!
adjective drier, driest, dryer or dryest
- lacking moisture; not damp or wet
- having little or no rainfall
- not in or under waterdry land
- having the water drained away or evaporateda dry river
- not providing milka dry cow
- (of the eyes) free from tears
- informalin need of a drink; thirsty
- causing thirstdry work
- eaten without butter, jam, etcdry toast
- (of a wine, cider, etc) not sweet
- pathol not accompanied by or producing a mucous or watery dischargea dry cough
- consisting of solid as opposed to liquid substances or commodities
- without adornment; plaindry facts
- lacking interest or stimulationa dry book
- lacking warmth or emotion; colda dry greeting
- (of wit or humour) shrewd and keen in an impersonal, sarcastic, or laconic way
- opposed to or prohibiting the sale of alcoholic liquor for human consumptiona dry area
- NZ (of a ewe) without a lamb after the mating season
- electronics (of a soldered electrical joint) imperfect because the solder has not adhered to the metal, thus reducing conductance
verb dries, drying or dried
- (when intr, often foll by off) to make or become dry or free from moisture
- (tr) to preserve (meat, vegetables, fruit, etc) by removing the moisture
noun plural drys or dries
- British informal a Conservative politician who is considered to be a hard-linerCompare
- the dry Australian informal the dry season
- US and Canadian an informal word for
Old English dryge, from Proto-Germanic *draugiz (cf. Middle Low German dröge, Middle Dutch druge, Dutch droog, Old High German trucchon, German trocken, Old Norse draugr), from PIE *dreug-.
Meaning “barren” is mid-14c. Of humor or jests, early 15c. (implied in dryly); as “uninteresting, tedious” from 1620s. Of places prohibiting alcoholic drink, 1870 (but dry feast, one at which no liquor is served, is from late 15c.; colloquial dry (n.) “prohibitionist” is 1888, American English). Dry goods (1708) were those measured out in dry, not liquid, measure. Dry land (that not under the sea) is from early 13c. Dry run is from 1940s.
Old English drygan, related to (adj.). Related: Dried; drying. Of the two agent noun spellings, drier is the older (1520s), while dryer (1874) was first used of machines. Dry out in the drug addiction sense is from 1967. Dry up “stop talking” is 1853.
Gradually become unproductive, as in After two collections of short stories, his ability to write fiction dried up. Also see well’s run dry.
Stop talking; also, cause to stop talking. For example, Dry up! You’ve said enough. [Slang; mid-1800s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with dry
- dry as dust
- dry behind the ears
- dry out
- dry run
- dry up
- cut and dried
- hang out to dry
- high and dry
- keep one’s powder dry
- well’s run dry