- The definition of dry is something without moisture, water or liquid.
- An example of dry is chapped lips, dry lips.
- An example of dry is dishes that have been sitting in a dish drainer overnight, dry dishes.
A dry, cracked river bed.
- not watery; not under water: dry land
- having no moisture; not wet or damp
- not shedding tears
- lacking rain or water: a dry summer
- having lost liquid or moisture; specif.,
- arid; withered
- empty of water or other liquid
- needing water or drink; thirsty
- not yielding milk: a dry cow
- without butter, jam, etc. on it: dry toast
- solid; not liquid
- not sweet; unsweetened; sec: dry wine
- having no mucous or watery discharge: a dry cough
- ☆ prohibiting or opposed to the manufacture or sale of alcoholic beverages: a dry town
- not colored by emotion, prejudice, etc.; plain; matter-of-fact: dry facts
- clever and shrewd but ironic or subtle: dry wit
- not producing results; unfruitful: a dry interview
- boring, dull, or tedious: a dry lecture
- harsh; grating: said of a sound
- Obsolete without bleeding: a dry death
Origin of dryMiddle English drie ; from Old English dryge, akin to German trocken, Dutch droog ; from Indo-European an unverified form dhereugh-, fast, firm, solid (; from base an unverified form dher-, to hold out, hold fast from source firm)
- Rare dryness or drought
- Rare dry land
- pl. drys☆ Informal a prohibitionist
- to make or become thoroughly dry
- Slang to withdraw from addiction to alcohol or a narcotic
- to make or become thoroughly dry; parch or wither
- to make or become unproductive, uncreative, etc.
- ☆ Slang to stop talking
not dry behind the ears
adjectivedri·er , dri·est or dry·er or dry·est
- Free from liquid or moisture: changed to dry clothes.
- a. Having or characterized by little or no rain: a dry climate.b. Marked by the absence of natural or normal moisture: a dry month.
- a. Not under water: dry land.b. Having all the water or liquid drained away, evaporated, or exhausted: a dry river.
- a. No longer yielding liquid, especially milk: a dry cow.b. Not producing a liquid substance that is normally produced: dry heaves.c. Not shedding tears: dry sobs.d. Needing moisture or drink: a dry mouth.
- No longer wet: The paint is dry.
- Of or relating to solid rather than liquid substances or commodities: dry weight.
- Not sweet as a result of the decomposition of sugar during fermentation. Used of wines.
- Having a large proportion of strong liquor to other ingredients: a dry martini.
- Eaten or served without butter, gravy, or other garnish: dry toast; dry meat.
- Having no adornment or coloration; plain: the dry facts.
- Devoid of bias or personal concern: presented a dry critique.
- a. Lacking tenderness, warmth, or involvement; severe: The actor gave a dry reading of the lines.b. Matter-of-fact or indifferent in manner: rattled off the facts in a dry mechanical tone.
- Wearisome; dull: a dry lecture filled with trivial details.
- Humorous in an understated or unemotional way: dry wit.
- Prohibiting or opposed to the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages: a dry county.
- Unproductive of the expected results: a mind dry of new ideas.
- Constructed without mortar or cement: dry masonry.
verbdried dried , dry·ing, dries
- To remove the moisture from; make dry: laundry dried by the sun.
- To preserve (meat or other foods, for example) by extracting the moisture.
nounpl. drys drys Informal
Origin of dryMiddle English drie, from Old English dr&ymacron;ge.
- dry′ly, dri′ly
(comparative drier or dryer, superlative driest or dryest)
- Free from liquid or moisture.
- Could you hand me a dry towel?
- My throat feels itchy and dry.
- Cover the chicken as it bakes or it'll get too dry.
- (chemistry) Free of water in any state; anhydrous.
- Dry alcohol is 200 proof.
- Thirsty; needing drink.
- (of an alcoholic beverage) Lacking sugar or low in sugar; not sweet.
- I like to take a dry sherry before lunch on Sundays.
- Maintaining temperance; void or abstinent from alcoholic beverages.
- A former alcoholic, he's been dry for almost a year now.
- You'll have to drive out of this dry county to find any liquor.
- It was a dry house.
- (of a person or joke) Subtly humorous, yet without mirth.
- (of a scientist or his laboratory) Not working with chemical or biological matter, but, rather, doing computations.
- (masonry) Built without mortar; dry-stone.
- (of animals) Not giving milk.
- The cow is dry.
- Lacking interest or amusement; barren; unembellished.
- a very dry lecture on archaeology
- (fine arts) Exhibiting a sharp, frigid preciseness of execution, or lacking delicate contours and soft transitions of colour.
From Middle English drye, drie, dri, drige, dryge, drüȝe, Old English drȳġe (“dry; parched, withered”), from Proto-Germanic *drūgiz, *draugiz (“dry, hard”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰerǵʰ- (“to strengthen; become hard”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰer- (“to hold, support”). Cognate with Scots dry, drey (“dry”), North Frisian drüg, driig, drüüg, dröög, drüch (“dry”), Saterland Frisian druuch (“dry”), West Frisian droech (“dry”), Dutch droog (“dry”), Low German dreuge, dröög, drög, drege, dree (“dry”), German trocken (“dry”), Icelandic draugur (“a dry log”). Related also to West Frisian drege (“long-lasting”), Danish drøj (“tough”), Swedish dryg (“lasting, hard”), Icelandic drjúgur (“ample, long”), Latin firmus (“strong, firm, stable, durable”). See also drought, drain, dree.
(third-person singular simple present dries, present participle drying, simple past and past participle dried)
- (intransitive) To lose moisture.
- The clothes dried on the line.
- To remove moisture from.
- Devin dried her eyes with a handkerchief.
- (intransitive, figuratively) To cease or cause to cease.
- Their sources of income dried up.
- The stream of chatter dried up.
From Old English dryġan (“to dry”), from dryġe (“dry”)
- (computing) Acronym of don't repeat yourself. (It is a software development principle aimed at reducing repetition.)