GEE WHILLIKERS! WAIT TILL YOU SEE THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!
Origin of drought
pronunciation note for drought
In American English, drought with the pronunciation [drout] /draʊt/ is common everywhere in educated speech, and is the usual printed form.
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH droughtdraught, drought
Words nearby drought
What does drought mean?
A drought is a long period with no rain or unusually low levels of rain or other precipitation.
Because weather and climate are different in different places throughout the world, there is no single definition of what counts as a drought. However, it always refers to a significant period of dry weather. Droughts have many harmful effects, including water shortages, crop failure, and in some cases famine, among other things. The word is often used in the phrase drought conditions, referring to very dry conditions resulting from a lack of rainfall.
Drought can also be used in a figurative way to refer to an extended shortage of or long period without something, as in The city has the longest championship drought in all of sports.
Example: The drought continued for more than three weeks and wildfires started to appear.
Where does drought come from?
The first records of the word drought in English come from before 1000. It comes from the Old English word drūgath, which is related to the Dutch droogte, meaning “dryness.” The English word dry shares a root with drought.
Droughts can last months and even years. That doesn’t mean there’s no rain at all during that time, but it does mean that there’s a lot less than there usually is. (Most deserts have very low levels of rainfall, but we wouldn’t say they’re experiencing a drought.) Droughts have several negative consequences. First, they create a shortage of water for drinking and for growing crops, which can cause the crops to fail and lead to famine. The excessively dry conditions caused by droughts can also add to the risk of wildfires, which can start more easily and burn more rapidly, using all of the dried plants as their fuel.
When used figuratively, drought refers to a long period without something, as in You complain about not getting a second date but I haven’t had a first date in months—I’m in a real drought.
The term dry spell can be used as a synonym for both the literal and figurative sense of drought (though, in the literal sense, a dry spell isn’t usually as serious or as long as a drought).
Did you know ... ?
What are some synonyms for drought?
What are some words that share a root or word element with drought?
What are some words that often get used in discussing drought?
What are some words drought may be commonly confused with?
How is drought used in real life?
The word drought is commonly used in discussions about what causes droughts, how they affect people, and how they can be prevented.
— NASA Earth (@NASAEarth) May 1, 2020
The western US will face worsening drought conditions this summer as heat bakes the region.
— AccuWeather (@breakingweather) April 30, 2020
Important to close psychological distance by communicating how climate change is happening here & now. One way is help people join the dots between climate change & local climate-related events (e.g., intensifying drought, more frequent wildfires, intensified hurricanes).
— John Cook (@johnfocook) May 6, 2020
Try using drought!
Which of the following words is LEAST likely to describe a drought?
Example sentences from the Web for drought
It has also been extremely dry in California, Oregon, and Washington this summer, with large sections of each state under “severe drought” conditions and some areas reaching “extreme drought.”“Unprecedented”: What’s behind the California, Oregon, and Washington wildfires|Umair Irfan|September 11, 2020|Vox
We also just had a wet winter, meaning the reservoirs and soils aren’t as parched as they have been during past droughts.
Cold summers, drought, famine and plague devastated societies around the world.How Earth’s Climate Changes Naturally (and Why Things Are Different Now)|Howard Lee|July 21, 2020|Quanta Magazine
That’s the amount the United Nations has agreed would prevent catastrophic climate change – like seas that swallow whole coastal cities, really, really bad wildfires and unbearable droughts.Environment Report: The Latest Power Struggles for SDG&E and Sempra|MacKenzie Elmer|June 29, 2020|Voice of San Diego
So the team only enters the deep chambers during periods of drought.
It was captioned Preserve Your Forests From Destruction And Protect Your Country From Floods And Drought.
From the drought in California to the women of ENIAC, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
The drought is now killing off century-old California farms.
Coping with drought and marginal soils was a continual struggle.‘The Harness Maker’s Dream:’ The Unlikely Ranch King of Texas|Nick Kotz|September 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I remember reading the headlines in the local paper that said, “Four-year drought has ended.”Life After ‘SVU’: Christopher Meloni on ‘They Came Together,’ Stabler, and His Famous Behind|Marlow Stern|June 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The superstitious natives supposed the drought was sent upon them as a judgment, because myself and Lay were allowed to live.
Indeed, the portulacca is a vegetable salamander so far as its ability to stand heat and drought is concerned.ABC of Gardening|Eben Eugene Rexford
The drought had forced all the animals to come to the larger water-courses, and the country was literally swarming with game.Hunting the Grisly and Other Sketches|Theodore Roosevelt
The water we have discovered, although a plentiful supply for present needs, may run short or cease altogether if drought comes.The Lonely Island|R.M. Ballantyne
The drought had not brought down the leaves nor cracked the surface.The New Gulliver and Other Stories|Barry Pain