• Dry


    • enPR: drÄ«, IPA: /dɹaɪ/
    • Rhymes: -aɪ

    Origin 1

    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.

    Alternative forms

    Full definition of dry



    1. 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.
      • AddisonThe weather, we agreed, was too dry for the season.
      • PrescottNot a dry eye was to be seen in the assembly.
    2. (chemistry) Free of water in any state; anhydrous.
      Dry alcohol is 200 proof.
    3. Thirsty; needing drink.
    4. (of an alcoholic beverage) Lacking sugar or low in sugar; not sweet.
      I like to take a dry sherry before lunch on Sundays.
    5. 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.
    6. (of a person or joke) Subtly humorous, yet without mirth.
    7. (of a scientist or his laboratory) Not working with chemical or biological matter, but, rather, doing computations.
    8. (masonry) Built without mortar; dry-stone.
      • 1937, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Already the gate was blocked with a wall of squared stones laid dry, but very thick and very high, across the opening.
    9. (of animals) Not giving milk.
      The cow is dry.
    10. Lacking interest or amusement; barren; unembellished.
      a very dry lecture on archaeology
      • Alexander PopeThese epistles will become less dry, more susceptible of ornament.
    11. (fine arts) Exhibiting a sharp, frigid preciseness of execution, or lacking delicate contours and soft transitions of colour.



    • (free from liquid or moisture) wet
    • (abstinent from alcohol) wet
    • (of a scientist or lab: doing computation) wet

    Origin 2

    From Old English dryġan ("to dry"), from dryġe ("dry")


    1. (intransitive) To lose moisture.The clothes dried on the line.
    2. (transitive) To remove moisture from.Devin dried her eyes with a handkerchief.
    3. (ambitransitive, figurative) To cease or cause to cease.Their sources of income dried up.The stream of chatter dried up.
    © Wiktionary