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dry hole

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noun
  1. any well drilled for oil or gas that does not yield enough to be commercially profitable.

Origin of dry hole

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85
Also called duster.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for dry hole

dry hole

noun
  1. (in the oil industry) a well that is drilled but does not produce oil or gas in commercially worthwhile amounts
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