[ drahy ]
See synonyms for: drydrieddrysdryness on Thesaurus.com

adjective,dri·er [drahy-er], /ˈdraɪ ər/, dri·est [drahy-ist]. /ˈdraɪ ɪst/.
  1. free from moisture or excess moisture; not moist; not wet: a dry towel; dry air.

  2. having or characterized by little or no rain: a dry climate; the dry season.

  1. characterized by absence, deficiency, or failure of natural or ordinary moisture.

  2. not under, in, or on water: It was good to be on dry land.

  3. not now containing or yielding water or other liquid; depleted or empty of liquid: The well is dry.

  4. not yielding milk: a dry cow.

  5. free from tears: dry eyes.

  6. drained or evaporated away: a dry river.

  7. desiring drink; thirsty: He was so dry he could hardly speak.

  8. causing thirst: dry work.

  9. served or eaten without butter, jam, etc.: dry toast.

  10. (of cooked food) lacking enough moisture or juice to be satisfying or succulent.

  11. (of bread and bakery products) stale.

  12. of or relating to nonliquid substances or commodities: dry measure; dry provisions.

  13. (of wines) not sweet.

  14. (of a cocktail)

    • made with dry vermouth: a dry Manhattan.

    • made with relatively little dry vermouth: a dry martini.

  15. characterized by or favoring prohibition of the manufacture and sale of alcoholic liquors for use in beverages: a dry state.

  16. (of British biscuits) not sweet.

  17. plain; bald; unadorned: dry facts.

  18. dull; uninteresting: a dry subject.

  19. expressed in a straight-faced, matter-of-fact way: dry humor.

  20. indifferent; cold; unemotional: a dry answer.

  21. unproductive: The greatest of artists have dry years.

  22. (of lumber) fully seasoned.

  23. Building Trades.

    • (of masonry construction) built without fresh mortar or cement.

    • (of a wall, ceiling, etc., in an interior) finished without the use of fresh plaster.

  24. Ceramics.

  25. Art. hard and formal in outline, or lacking mellowness and warmth in color.

verb (used with object),dried, dry·ing.
  1. to make dry; free from moisture: to dry the dishes.

verb (used without object),dried, dry·ing.
  1. to become dry; lose moisture.

noun,plural drys, dries [drahyz]. /draɪz/.
  1. a prohibitionist.

  2. a dry place, area, or region.

Verb Phrases
  1. dry out,

    • to make or become completely dry.

    • to undergo or cause to undergo detoxification from consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol.

  2. dry up,

    • to make or become completely dry.

    • to cease to exist; evaporate.

    • Informal. to stop talking.

    • (in acting) to forget one's lines or part.

Idioms about dry

  1. not dry behind the ears, immature; unsophisticated: Adult responsibilities were forced on him, although he was still not dry behind the ears.

Origin of dry

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

synonym study For dry

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.

Other words for dry

Opposites for dry

Other words from dry

  • dry·a·ble, adjective
  • dryly, adverb
  • dryness, noun
  • o·ver·dry, adjective
  • o·ver·dry·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·dry·ness, noun
  • pre·dry, verb (used with object), pre·dried, pre·dry·ing.
  • re·dry, verb, re·dried, re·dry·ing.
  • ul·tra·dry, adjective
  • un·der·dry, verb (used with object), un·der·dried, un·der·dry·ing.
  • un·dry, adjective
  • un·dry·a·ble, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

British Dictionary definitions for dry


/ (draɪ) /

adjectivedrier, driest, dryer or dryest
  1. lacking moisture; not damp or wet

  2. having little or no rainfall

  1. not in or under water: dry land

  2. having the water drained away or evaporated: a dry river

  3. not providing milk: a dry cow

  4. (of the eyes) free from tears

    • informal in need of a drink; thirsty

    • causing thirst: dry work

  5. eaten without butter, jam, etc: dry toast

  6. (of a wine, cider, etc) not sweet

  7. pathol not accompanied by or producing a mucous or watery discharge: a dry cough

  8. consisting of solid as opposed to liquid substances or commodities

  9. without adornment; plain: dry facts

  10. lacking interest or stimulation: a dry book

  11. lacking warmth or emotion; cold: a dry greeting

  12. (of wit or humour) shrewd and keen in an impersonal, sarcastic, or laconic way

  13. opposed to or prohibiting the sale of alcoholic liquor for human consumption: a dry area

  14. NZ (of a ewe) without a lamb after the mating season

  15. electronics (of a soldered electrical joint) imperfect because the solder has not adhered to the metal, thus reducing conductance

verbdries, drying or dried
  1. (when intr, often foll by off) to make or become dry or free from moisture

  2. (tr) to preserve (meat, vegetables, fruit, etc) by removing the moisture

nounplural drys or dries
  1. British informal a Conservative politician who is considered to be a hard-liner: Compare wet (def. 10)

  2. the dry Australian informal the dry season

  1. US and Canadian an informal word for prohibitionist

Origin of dry

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

Derived forms of dry

  • dryable, adjective
  • dryness, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with dry


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.