[ drahy-ing ]
/ ˈdraɪ ɪŋ /


causing dryness: a drying breeze.
designed to become or capable of becoming dry and hard on exposure to air.

Nearby words

  1. dryden, john,
  2. drydenian,
  3. drydenic,
  4. dryer,
  5. drygas,
  6. drying oil,
  7. drying-out,
  8. dryland,
  9. dryland farming,
  10. dryly

Origin of drying

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at dry, -ing2

Related formsnon·dry·ing, adjectiveun·dry·ing, adjective

Origin of dry

before 900; Middle English drie, Old English drȳge; akin to Dutch droog, German trocken; see drought

1. wet. 20. interesting.

Related forms

Synonym study

1. Dry, arid both mean without moisture. Dry is the general word indicating absence of water or freedom from moisture: a dry well; dry clothes. Arid suggests great or intense dryness in a region or climate, especially such as results in bareness or in barrenness: arid tracts of desert. 28. See evaporate.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for drying

British Dictionary definitions for drying


/ (ˈdraɪɪŋ) /


the action or process of making or becoming dry
Also called (not now in technical usage): seasoning the processing of timber until it has a moisture content suitable for the purposes for which it is to be used


causing drynessa drying wind


/ (draɪ) /

adjective drier, driest, dryer or dryest

verb dries, drying or dried

(when intr, often foll by off) to make or become dry or free from moisture
(tr) to preserve (meat, vegetables, fruit, etc) by removing the moisture

noun plural drys or dries

See also dry out, dry up

Derived Formsdryable, adjectivedryness, noun

Word Origin for dry

Old English drӯge; related to Old High German truckan, Old Norse draugr dry wood

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

Word Origin and History for drying
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with drying


In addition to the idioms beginning with dry

  • dry as dust
  • dry behind the ears
  • dry out
  • dry run
  • dry up

also see:

  • cut and dried
  • hang out to dry
  • high and dry
  • keep one's powder dry
  • well's run dry
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.