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dry hole

[ drahy-hohl ]
/ ˈdraɪ ˈhoʊl /
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noun

Also called duster. any well drilled for oil or gas that does not yield enough to be commercially profitable: After three consecutive dry holes, we were delirious when this site came through big for us.
a failed business venture, especially one that began with expectations and promises of high profitability: How do we explain to our investors yet another dry hole from our video games division?

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Origin of dry hole

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for dry hole

dry hole

noun

(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
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