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[drout] /draʊt/
a period of dry weather, especially a long one that is injurious to crops.
an extended shortage:
a drought of good writing.
Archaic. thirst.
Also, drouth
[drouth] /draʊθ/ (Show IPA)
Origin of drought
before 1000; Middle English; Old English drūgath, equivalent to drūg- (base of drȳge dry) + -ath -th1; cognate with Dutch droogte dryness
Can be confused
draught, drought (see pronunciation note at draught)
2. scarcity, lack, want, dearth, paucity, famine.
Pronunciation note
Drought and drouth, nouns derived from the adjective dry plus a suffix, are spellings that represent two phonetic developments of the same Old English word, and are pronounced
[drout] /draʊt/ (Show IPA)
[drouth] /draʊθ/
respectively. The latter pronunciation, therefore, is not a mispronunciation of drought. The now unproductive suffix -th1 and its alternate form -t were formerly used to derive nouns from adjectives or verbs, resulting in such pairs as drouthdrought from dry and highth—height (the former now obsolete) from high.
In American English, drought with the pronunciation
[drout] /draʊt/
is common everywhere in educated speech, and is the usual printed form. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for drouth


a prolonged period of scanty rainfall
a prolonged shortage
an archaic or dialect word for thirst Archaic and Scot form drouth
Derived Forms
droughty, adjective
Word Origin
Old English drūgoth; related to Dutch droogte; see dry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for drouth



Old English drugað, drugoð "drought, dryness, desert," from Proto-Germanic *drugothaz, from Germanic root *dreug- "dry" (cf high/height) with *-itho, Germanic suffix for forming abstract nouns (see -th (2)). Drouth was a Middle English variant continued in Scottish and northern English dialect and in poetry.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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drouth in Science
A long period of abnormally low rainfall, lasting up to several years.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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drouth in the Bible

From the middle of May to about the middle of August the land of Palestine is dry. It is then the "drought of summer" (Gen. 31:40; Ps. 32:4), and the land suffers (Deut. 28:23: Ps. 102:4), vegetation being preserved only by the dews (Hag. 1:11). (See DEW.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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