Definition of dry in English:

dry

adjective

  • 1Free from moisture or liquid; not wet or moist:

    ‘the jacket kept me warm and dry’
    ‘he wiped the table dry with his shirt’
    • ‘When cleaning the body of the light, it is recommended to use a dry, lint free cloth for the best possible result.’
    • ‘Drain and place the blanched vegetables on an absorbent cloth and pat them dry.’
    • ‘Water regularly during growth and bloom, then keep the soil fairly dry during summer.’
    • ‘She climbed onto the rock and patted herself dry with one of the blankets.’
    • ‘The central glasshouse had two lean-to hothouses, one dry for cacti, the other humid for tropical plants.’
    • ‘In the fortunate first world, we are warm, fed and dry, and largely free of the famines, pains and diseases that brought misery to our forefathers.’
    • ‘I got out and wiped myself dry with a white fluffy towel.’
    • ‘Katy finally broke free of the dry vegetation and hurried off the path and to the guard rail that separated her from Justin.’
    • ‘Traffic constable Paul Davenport told the inquest that at the time of the accident, the road was dry, clean and free from any obstruction.’
    • ‘She managed to stay mostly dry, but the cuffs of her pants were damp.’
    • ‘If the soil seems too dry or too moist, adjust the controller.’
    • ‘They also require housing in shelter that is warm, dry and as draught free as possible.’
    • ‘Strain the yolk through a muslin cloth into a clean dry bowl.’
    • ‘The affected areas should be kept as dry and as free of friction as possible.’
    • ‘No single profession has as its duty the obligation to provide a building that is dry and free of mold growth.’
    • ‘Water the plant when the soil surface feels dry to a light touch.’
    • ‘Wipe the screen daily using window cleaner, then polish it with a clean dry cloth.’
    • ‘She sighed, realizing Hawk was right: she needed to let these clothes dry.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the fire was busy, the wood was dry and free, and his thoughts ran just as freely on future good times until he too dozed in front of the blaze.’
    • ‘Her blue jeans were beginning to grow damp and she longed for the feel of dry clothes and a warm blanket.’
    hard, hardened, dried out, stale, old, past its best, past its sell-by date, off
    parched, dried, withered, shrivelled, wilted, wizened
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of paint, ink, etc.) having lost all wetness or moisture over a period of time:
      ‘wait until the paint is dry’
      • ‘We applied a solid area of color first, and then we invented decorative patterns over the dry paint.’
      • ‘I had very little time to get used to this one - it was whisked off to London almost before the paint was dry - so I began to have my doubts about it.’
      • ‘When the paint is dry, brush on white crafts glue - which dries clear - and adhere glass seed beads.’
      • ‘When I got back, the paint was dry, so I got on with the second coat and ended up almost as painty as I had been before I went to the gym.’
      • ‘After the paint was dry, students had the option of using oil pastels to add even more pattern to their paintings.’
      • ‘After I had made sure that the ink was dry, I picked it up, and headed out to find the things on the list.’
      • ‘The ink is hardly dry on young Hay's new three-year contract.’
      • ‘They knew the city might well end the practice before they could obtain a license, and they knew the courts could nullify the marriage before the ink was dry.’
      • ‘Windows started falling out of the hotels before the paint was dry.’
      • ‘Well apparently, the dating scene there is about as exciting as dry paint.’
      • ‘It is not the first time that a ceasefire has been broken before the ink is dry.’
      • ‘The ink is barely dry on the deal, but already interested parties in Australia are focussing on the process ahead.’
      • ‘When the paint is dry to the touch, you can continue playing and building texture.’
      • ‘After the paint was dry, I roughed up the edges with sandpaper to reveal the wood underneath for an old, worn look.’
      • ‘It happened in 1983 and it happened in 1993 and if it happens next weekend, the record books will have to be re-written before the ink is properly dry.’
      • ‘We were a mess, both covered with dry paint, and rehearsals for one of my most important scenes had already begun!’
      • ‘Nowadays, the iconoclastic Vasan is almost an icon and his material is sometimes snapped up even before the paint is dry.’
      • ‘The trouble with such documents, as the many amendments to the US and other constitutions testify, is that they are obsolete as soon as the ink is dry.’
      • ‘No matter if the paint is barely dry on the sign hanging outside the bistro, Mike has been there before me.’
      • ‘When paint is dry, peel off laminate's backing and position the stencil on the pot where you want it.’
    2. 1.2 For use without liquid:
      ‘the conversion of dry latrines into the flushing type’
      • ‘Under this Act construction of a dry latrine and its manual cleaning was made an offence.’
      • ‘The camp has solar panels, revolutionary dry latrines, a whole lot of candlelight and kerosene light, and a mandate to be good to the land and people.’
      • ‘The modernization will change the cement-making process from the wet, slurry-type process used now to a state-of-the-art dry process that will increase production about 40 percent.’
      • ‘But even where activists have successfully sealed dry latrines, the fate of the people is pathetic.’
      • ‘Recommendations resulting from the meeting included the use of dry sanitation facilities in informal settlements.’
      • ‘Calvert points out that the floods triggered by the recent storm surge had demonstrated the eco friendly nature of the dry latrines.’
      • ‘His duties consisted of grooming the magistrate's horse, cleaning out the stable, cutting firewood and keeping clean the dry earth closet out in the yard.’
    3. 1.3 With little or no rainfall or humidity:
      ‘the West Coast has had two dry winters in a row’
      • ‘The polar continental is usually a dry air mass, having little distance to travel over the sea.’
      • ‘The cold winters and dry climate would stress the animals all across the Northern Hemisphere.’
      • ‘During the summer, keep them moist in dry weather, apply a liquid feed every three weeks and, if necessary, give the plants a support to prevent damage by wind and heavy rain.’
      • ‘But Scotland and Northern Ireland will see the best of the weather with mostly dry spells.’
      • ‘Testing during extremely dry weather or when the ground is frozen may be less desirable.’
      • ‘While very little rain falls during the dry season, the amount that does fall is more variable than during the wet season.’
      • ‘Ghana's subequatorial climate is warm and humid, with distinct alternations between rainy summer and dry winters.’
      • ‘It was lovely weather and we had an indoor BBQ since there was a ban on any outdoor burning because of the dry weather we have been having the last couple of weeks.’
      • ‘Saturday and Sunday looks like being drier at the moment with the chance of a light frost overnight.’
      • ‘New South Wales has entered an early bush fire season, which is being exacerbated by extremely low levels of rainfall, dry winds and high temperatures.’
      • ‘Their shade reduces evaporation and keeps the soil moist during the dry season, and their roots protect the banks from erosion.’
      • ‘There is seldom a long dry spell and rainfall is abundant.’
      • ‘On my first visit to the short grass plains of the southern Serengeti, they were as parched and dry as any desert.’
      • ‘During the growing season, keep the roots moist in dry weather and take care when weeding, as blackcurrants are shallow-rooted.’
      • ‘In the winter, the winds reverse and blow in a seaward direction, which is the reason why Indian winters are so dry.’
      • ‘When temperatures drop, so does the skin's moisture level - a direct result of dehydrating cold, dry air.’
      • ‘The drought belt of Africa has had almost two decades of exceptionally dry weather.’
      • ‘Overall, the climate is humid and cool, with very wet winters and dry summers.’
      • ‘It was a dry month, with rainfall being only 47 per cent of average and reservoirs only 59 per cent full.’
      • ‘If they have good root systems they can withstand severe dry spells without injury.’
      arid, parched, scorched, baked, burned, dried out, dried up, torrid, hot, sizzling, burning
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 (of a river, lake, or stream) empty of water as a result of lack of rainfall:
      ‘the river is always dry at this time of year’
      • ‘On a typical summer day, several dozen dust devils spin across the dry lake bed in Nevada's Eldorado Valley.’
      • ‘The chase cars began because we were using a dry lake bed for initial training before using the paved runway.’
      • ‘The area consists of steep mountains rising to around 1,500 metres with flat valleys, and the area is peppered with sand dunes and dry lakes.’
      • ‘He pulled his horses to the edge of the highway, above a stupendous array of mountains, dry rivers, scrubby hill crests.’
      • ‘On an old, dry river bend stand the ruins of an ancient chapel that Jordanians say is the site of Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist.’
      • ‘In Australia, salt is produced by solar evaporation from sea water, saline lake waters, underground brines and harvested from dry lake beds.’
      • ‘A surge of water was barreling down on him from the far end of the dry river bed.’
      • ‘The dams were empty, the creek was dry, all I had was two bores.’
      • ‘The riverine woodland diminishes daily and most rivers are dry for some of the year.’
      • ‘During the summer, the river was dry from its source near Kemble to Cricklade and the water basin at Ashton Keynes was waterless for two months.’
      • ‘From the next bridge one can see some more sculpted rock, and round the corner the river was dry in this wettest of seasons.’
      • ‘We swooped along a dry river bed to land near the Settlers Arms Inn, in St Albans.’
      • ‘Hughes also notes that the aquifer runs beneath two dry lakes in the area, Cadiz and Bristol.’
      • ‘They began some 190,000 years ago when a major volcano blew its top, spewing molten lava into nearby dry river beds.’
      • ‘Most of the time, they have to walk for kilometers or dig holes in dry ponds just for one or two pails of dirty water.’
      • ‘When water from a nearby active stream flooded into the dry watercourse, the nests and eggs, like those on the flats, were inundated with mud.’
      • ‘Almost all of these are away from major rivers, dry creeks, and sagebrush flats, where recent sediments tend to cover the older rocks.’
      • ‘The withered trees and dry streams portray the grim situation.’
      • ‘Bessie and Randy were making their way out of the dry river bed that was sometimes Kiowa Creek.’
      • ‘Scientists hope that some of those rocks contain sediments that will reveal information about past conditions in the crater, which could be a dry lake bed.’
      waterless, dried out, empty
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5 (of a source) not yielding a supply of water or oil:
      ‘a dry well’
      • ‘Residents have turned to the murky pond for their water supply, as truck- and pipe-borne sources have been almost dry.’
      • ‘Since then, one of the wells used to supply the community with water has gone dry.’
      • ‘Will there be an end to exports from the country as tax makes most of the oil supply go dry?’
      • ‘Hesaraghatta lake, one of the biggest sources of fresh water supply to the city, went dry quite sometime ago.’
    6. 1.6 Thirsty or thirst-making:
      ‘working in the hot sun is making me dry’
      • ‘The drinking habits of the time involved the guest calling for a drink every time he felt dry.’
      • ‘Early in the afternoon, they approached a small cottage, where no well could be seen, but the pilgrims were thirsty and dry.’
      • ‘Ice cream sells better in winter in pedestrian malls and large department stores, whose air-conditioning systems often make shoppers feel hot and dry.’
      thirst-making, thirst-provoking, thirsty, hot, strenuous, arduous, heavy, tiring, exhausting
      thirsty, dehydrated, longing for a drink
      View synonyms
    7. 1.7 (of a cow or other domestic animal) no longer producing milk:
      ‘the rye has been strip-grazed by dry cows’
      ‘the cows went dry in the wintertime’
      • ‘Cow numbers were held constant at 100 mature lactating and dry cows, plus replacements.’
      • ‘Yearling cattle, heifers and dry cows could be used to follow finishing cattle to clear off paddocks that have dried out.’
      • ‘In order of preference, dry cows and heifers will suffer no setback through being indoors for a couple of weeks.’
      • ‘Some winter feeding regimes such as the overwintering of dry suckler cows require little more than maintenance diets.’
      • ‘Bigger sale last week with a big number of dry cows and heifers on offer.’
    8. 1.8 Without grease or other moisturizer or lubricator:
      ‘cream conditioners for dry hair’
      • ‘Her palms were feeling extremely sweaty all of a sudden, but her throat was very dry.’
      • ‘However, I kept noticing things before we left, like my face was too dry, then my hair was too dry, then I had to find lip gloss because my face was looking blah!’
      • ‘They were recommended by a friend, and helped my hair not be so dry from all of the color treatments.’
      • ‘I've always been prone to dry skin and hair, so I really noticed a huge shift when I began adding more oil to my diet.’
      • ‘If your hair is excessively dry and it does not respond to the above treatments, you may not be eating enough fat.’
      • ‘I have dry skin, so moisturising is a necessity.’
      • ‘Whether your hair is dry or greasy, the following shampoos and conditioners will tame that mane of yours for good.’
      • ‘Since there is less moisture in the air, the skin can become very dry and dehydrated, as it fails to replenish the moisture that is exuded naturally into the air.’
      • ‘If your problem is dry hair, first massage coconut or olive into your scalp.’
      • ‘If you have other telltale symptoms, such as brittle hair and nails, dry skin and a tendency to feel cold, definitely get checked out.’
      • ‘If your hair is very dry, damaged or chemically treated, treat yourself to a deep conditioning once a week.’
      • ‘Gary said the first warning sign is normally a sore or dry throat, the feeling most people associate with swollen glands.’
      • ‘Next Lisa applies an ‘intensive hydrating masque’ which is oil free and perfect for dry skin like mine.’
      • ‘That said, men with dry hair should try to limit washings to every three days or so.’
      • ‘Recently I have also noticed extremely dry skin on my arms, legs and feet.’
      • ‘If you can't find a conditioner for black hair, try one designed for dry hair instead as these will have a similar effect.’
      • ‘In addition, try sucking a throat lozenge as the sucking action helps to keep a dry throat moist.’
      • ‘A regular deep conditioning treatment can also help rehydrate dry hair.’
      • ‘His voice surged for a moment but it was scratchy, his throat was very dry.’
      • ‘Cold weather and low indoor humidity can cause dry, chapped skin during the winter months.’
    9. 1.9 (of bread or toast) without butter or other spreads:
      ‘only dry bread and water’
      • ‘He would bring a sandwich to school each day which he had carefully made himself from two pieces of dry bread.’
      • ‘No one came round the cells except to push dry bread and water through twice a day and even that varied.’
      • ‘Taunts followed her across the lunch hall as she went to collect her lump of dry bread and bowl of watery soup from the serving table.’
      • ‘I also enjoy a light, fluffy omelet, or maybe basted eggs with bacon or strawberries and dry toast.’
      • ‘It consisted of water and dry bread, and had to be eaten silently - and quickly, as the time permitted for breakfast was only 15 minutes.’
      • ‘In such glorious surroundings, a slice of dry bread and a plank would have sufficed.’
      • ‘To be on the safe side we avoid milk and cereal and Akra gives him a piece of dry toast.’
      • ‘Chances are quite good that lunch on any given weekday was a hamburger patty and cheese on plain, dry bread served with fries.’
      • ‘The combination of dry bread and endless cheese leads to the diner having to chew away at the food for, oh, several hours.’
      • ‘Eat dry foods, such as crackers or dry toast, before moving in the morning.’
      • ‘When your appetite returns, eat mild foods such as rice, dry toast, or bananas.’
      • ‘I felt so pumped by this little achievement, I was able to face my dry toast and hard-boiled egg with glee.’
      • ‘He noticed that she wasn't eating much, just nibbling on a bit of dry toast.’
      • ‘But now on the morning after, swallowing dry toast would be a challenge too far.’
      • ‘He sat down to his usual breakfast of eggs and dry toast.’
      • ‘He hardly ate, a bag of nuts or dry bread seeing him through the day.’
      • ‘Half a slice of dry toast and a few spoonfuls of soup isn't a meal, you can hardly say you've eaten, Lauren.’
      • ‘In between, she sits in the shade of a tree, to eat a lunch of dry bread and chutney.’
      • ‘So, he got out his bread knife and trimmed the quarter-loaf down to a couple of slices of dry toast.’
      • ‘They all agreed and soon we were eating plain dry toast when the phone rang.’
      unbuttered, plain, butterless
      View synonyms
  • 2(of information, writing, etc.) dully factual:

    ‘the dry facts of the matter’
    • ‘Such anecdotes illuminate the dry facts and dates in which the past was formerly embalmed.’
    • ‘So, if you thought history was a dry subject, you obviously haven't read a new book that basically makes history one big drinking game.’
    • ‘The aim is to take what was once a dry topic confined to the history text books and bring it alive for the younger generations.’
    • ‘The rest of the book is filled with such anecdotes turning what could have been quite a dry subject into something real and gripping.’
    • ‘You have to admit that's a pretty good reason, but still, students find the OSI model information to be very dry.’
    • ‘This topic is necessarily dry and even tedious because it is an exhaustive exercise in the logic of all possible relationships.’
    • ‘For such a dry subject, the move to international accounting standards generates a surprising amount of heat.’
    • ‘While this book certainly qualifies as a scholarly work, it is not a dry history filled only with facts and figures.’
    • ‘Menand suggests that the author's avoidance of such metaphysical pathos was what made much of his writing awkward and dry.’
    • ‘He does not spout dry information, but colours facts with his own thoughtful perspective.’
    • ‘We must assume his comments were deliberately provocative to attract interest to the rather dry topic of female participation in public life.’
    • ‘Written for the educated, informed individual, the book does not get bogged down in dry information.’
    • ‘It could be argued that such an approach was necessary in order to inspire the audience's interest in a dry subject.’
    • ‘In between are 11 pages of useful information, including dry facts and quirky anecdotes, encompassing every area of life.’
    • ‘This approach has put their opponents at an unfortunate disadvantage; for, again, no one wants to go to a drama and be presented with dry facts.’
    • ‘It is a welcome break from the dry writing style of many manuals with little or no supporting graphics.’
    • ‘And the most remarkable thing of all is that she makes this normally dry subject very funny in her highly effective popular book.’
    • ‘It not only conveys information, the dry facts and figures of the events, but also their full emotional weight.’
    • ‘This comparison might make history seem somewhat dry and unimaginative.’
    • ‘New teaching methods were about trying to engage kids rather than forcing them to digest dry facts.’
    dull, uninteresting, boring, unexciting, tedious, tiresome, wearisome, dreary, monotonous, dry as dust, arid
    bare, simple, basic, fundamental, stark, naked, bald, cold, hard, straightforward
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Unemotional, undemonstrative, or impassive:
      ‘it transformed him from a dry administrator into the people's hero’
      • ‘His comments were made in dull, dry tones, suggesting he'd rather be anywhere else.’
      • ‘So any construal of forgiveness that seems flat or dry is obviously lacking.’
      • ‘The dry, silent male mourning seemed much worse than the noisy grief of the women.’
      • ‘His voice sounded dull and dry to him, without depth or meaning anymore.’
      • ‘‘What an elaborate scheme,’ a dry voice commented.’
      • ‘Given the vantage point of 35 years, LeWitt's art scarcely seems emotionally dry.’
      • ‘As a result he is often referred to as a philosopher of art, giving the impression of being dry and detached from the world around him.’
      • ‘The politician's agenda does tend to be as dry and unemotional as his personality.’
      • ‘‘Is that a problem?’ she asked in a dry tone that I thought I may have imagined.’
      • ‘Marty flails about on stage for a while, desperately trying to drum up some enthusiasm and energy for what is a dull, dry performance.’
      • ‘I always love the incredibly dry, spare tone of the Times when it approaches ultra-weird subjects.’
      • ‘A dry skepticism likewise informs her views on the art world, and on the varying fortunes of Duchamp's work and reputation within it.’
      • ‘In contrast to what he sees as the dry formalism of his forbears, Morrison offers a self-consciously passionate response to the play.’
      unemotional, indifferent, undemonstrative, impassive, cool, cold, clinical, passionless, emotionless
      View synonyms
  • 3(of a joke or sense of humour) subtle and expressed in a matter-of-fact way:

    ‘he delighted his friends with a dry, covert sense of humour’
    • ‘I have a dry sense of humor, which the girls love me for.’
    • ‘It's made me laugh from your dry humor and weep for the victims of corporate crime tactics.’
    • ‘There are really dry jokes throughout the whole thing.’
    • ‘Subtle jokes and dry humour set up some nice character development, backed by worthy acting.’
    • ‘But viewer beware, a dry sense of humour is needed to enjoy this movie to its fullest.’
    • ‘She has a very dry sense of humor, much like mine actually.’
    • ‘The show was hosted by a young woman who also injected a dry sense of humour into her performance.’
    • ‘Each page of The Finishing School is alive with her customary ironic, dry wit, and yet she somehow leaves the reader thirsty for more.’
    • ‘Add to that the invention, intelligence and dry wit this title contains, and it deserves to top the charts.’
    • ‘Dr. House has the perfect dry wit to deal with his rather depressing field of work.’
    • ‘He will be remembered for his quick wit, his one-liners and his dry sense of humour.’
    • ‘I wanted to think this was some kind of dry joke, but 3 years of servile apologetics from some broadcasters prevent me.’
    • ‘The rail workers are blessed with a down-to-earth sense of humor and dry wit that is more than a match for any managerial staff.’
    • ‘Kev's dry wit and quiet sense of humour was much appreciated.’
    • ‘He had a very dry sense of humor that made her think of her father.’
    • ‘It stays true to its roots of biting satire and dry wit and avoids becoming nonsensical.’
    • ‘He had a great sense of humour and a ready, dry wit but he embodied a certain kind of simplicity and humility.’
    • ‘His sense of humour was dry, he could be irascible, and he was razor sharp.’
    • ‘There is a fine line between dry wit and wicked sarcasm.’
    • ‘Many found his manner abrupt at times, but his sardonic humour and dry wit were much enjoyed.’
    wry, subtle, low-key, laconic, sly, sharp
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  • 4Prohibiting the sale or consumption of alcoholic drink:

    ‘the country is strictly dry, in accordance with Islamic law’
    • ‘It's hard to find a country where a great many of the social ills aren't related to drink or drugs, particularly in the ones that are dry or have prohibition.’
    • ‘Do dry campuses stem student drinking - or aggravate the problem?’
    • ‘But the Wilson Act also left a loophole, in that it did not allow dry states to prohibit the importation of alcohol for personal use.’
    • ‘The distillery, you see, lies in a parish that's been dry since prohibition.’
    prohibitionist
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    1. 4.1 (of a person) no longer addicted to or drinking alcohol:
      ‘I heard much talk about how sobriety was more than staying straight or dry’
      • ‘He is a dry alcoholic: that is, he simply quit one day, without going through Alcoholics Anonymous or any similar group.’
      • ‘Some people compare it to an alcoholic still craving a drink after being dry for years, but I am a steady weight now and take pride in my appearance.’
      • ‘This is the kind of subtle, nasty attack used by alcoholics and dry drunks.’
      • ‘Grandiosity, rigidity, and intolerance of ambiguity, and a tendency to obsess about things are among the traits associated with the dry drunk.’
      • ‘Very important, the latter, if as some of my friends assert, the reason he does not dine at public functions is that he is a dry drunk.’
      • ‘Anyway I had support people amongst the AA groups that I was going to, I was an alcoholic but I'd been dry since the 80s.’
      • ‘Mr Keane senior was an alcoholic who would be dry for several months and a raging drunk the rest of the time.’
  • 5(of an alcoholic drink) not sweet:

    ‘a dry, medium-bodied red wine’
    • ‘We enjoyed a glass with some Chambord Liqueur, a nice twist to this moderately dry champagne.’
    • ‘Beginners sometimes describe dry wines as sweet because they confuse fruitiness with sweetness.’
    • ‘In the white category, Peel has done very well with Sancerre, Austrian wines like dry riesling and white Burgundy.’
    • ‘While the wines are technically dry, their ripeness suggests sweetness to many palates.’
    • ‘This was a very agreeable crisp, dry wine which could stand its own against an equivalent French, Italian or New World offering.’
    • ‘For whites we waived Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for the more aromatic Chenin Blanc and dry Riesling.’
    • ‘My friend thought the champagne was too dry so she wanted it mixed with orange juice.’
    • ‘With spring swigging in mind, Somerfield is introducing a juicy new range of Antipodean Riesling, dry muscat, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdelho wines.’
    • ‘A dry sherry seemed just the thing, so I asked for one.’
    • ‘Although many of the wines are dry, sweet Vermentino wines are also produced.’
    • ‘I went to the bar and asked for a dry sherry and sat in a discreet corner behind a decorative shrub.’
    • ‘The light-bodied liqueur is pleasantly dry and aromatic, impressive in every respect.’
    • ‘If you are having trouble figuring out whether a wine is dry or not, look at the alcohol.’
    • ‘It is a very dry wine best drunk as an aperitif, and served slightly chilled.’
    • ‘Clearly a dry wine such as a Fino Sherry or Sercial Madeira is most appropriate at the start of the meal, not the end.’
    • ‘Oloroso is an aromatic, nutty sherry made in both dry and slightly sweet styles.’
    • ‘The large, copper-coloured grapes make pleasant sweet as well as dry wines.’
    • ‘Alsace wines that used to be dry are often medium sweet nowadays.’
    • ‘Wedding cake does not taste good with dry champagne - no, not even Krug.’
    • ‘You don't have to stick with sweet wines, some dry reds can make suitable chocolate partners as well.’
    crisp, sharp, piquant, not sweet, tart, bitter
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  • 6British Relating to political ‘dries’ dry; rigidly monetarist.

    dry
    • ‘Greg Urwin, how appropriate are these models of free trade and dry economic policies to island states in the South Pacific?’
    monetarist
    View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Become dry:

    ‘waiting for the paint to dry’
    ‘do not let the soil dry out’
    ‘pools are left as the rivers dry up’
    • ‘Soil dries faster in terra-cotta pots, high temperatures and wind.’
    • ‘Barely had the ink dried on last week's column than the phone rang.’
    • ‘Leave the shower doors or curtain open after bathing so that it dries faster.’
    • ‘Let the pots stand in a saucer of water, ideally rainwater, then let them dry off a bit over the winter.’
    • ‘The sun is finally out in Calgary, and despite a quick thunderstorm this afternoon, things seem to be drying out.’
    • ‘The flood victims either install themselves at our campsite or head back to London to dry off and restock, while I snatch a couple of hours sleep.’
    • ‘We sleep in the cheapest motel we can find, hanging up our clothes and sleeping bags in the room so that they can dry off.’
    • ‘The tape survived, but only after it had spent Boxing Day drying on the radiator.’
    • ‘Once you are satisfied with the colors, let the paints and inks dry.’
    • ‘My companion ventured back to the beach to dry off.’
    • ‘If blistering does occur, allow the paint to dry for a few days.’
    • ‘There was a downpour so we went to his apartment to dry off.’
    • ‘Moisturize your skin constantly to help prevent your skin from drying out and from getting wrinkles.’
    • ‘After swimming we sat on a log to dry off in the sun.’
    • ‘She looked up and over at me in surprise, tears slowly drying up.’
    • ‘Bare rooted plants ordered from nurseries at the end of the summer will arrive this month and should be planted out straight away to stop the roots drying out.’
    • ‘The ink dried quickly on glossy paper and didn't have a strong odor.’
    • ‘He uses a piece of unsliced smoked salmon, and slices it slightly thicker than normal so that it will pan-fry without drying out.’
    • ‘Have you ever watched your clothes dry in the clothes dryer at the laundromat?’
    • ‘Have to keep the throat from drying out, no matter how much it hurts to swallow.’
    1. 1.1[with object] Cause to become dry:
      ‘they had washed and dried their hair’
      • ‘David finished drying and washing the dishes and headed off to take a shower.’
      • ‘Local companies have also provided dehumidifiers to dry out the classroom damaged by the van.’
      • ‘To sterilise your jars before potting, wash them well then dry them in a low oven.’
      • ‘Mrs Dunn said she left a bedroom window slightly ajar for about half an hour to dry off some washing.’
      • ‘I move to the sink, wash my hands, dry them and set the timer.’
      • ‘She quickly hopped in the shower, washed her hair, then dried it.’
      • ‘Wash and dry the potatoes, prick with a fork and place on a baking tray.’
      • ‘Wash and dry your hands or use soft cotton gloves.’
      • ‘After I worked out, I showered and dried my hair and fixed my face, and generally returned myself to a reasonably presentable state.’
      • ‘Isn't it obvious that such an elaborate grooming procedure would be left to after one has washed and dried one's hair?’
      • ‘I hurriedly washed and dried some jeans - just in time for my train.’
      • ‘So, my job was to dry out the string - I microwaved it, would you believe - and then to hang up the cards.’
      • ‘Thankfully, some high winds have helped to dry off the playing pitches.’
      • ‘I also advise using moisturiser, especially in winter, as the cold air dries the skin.’
      • ‘During roasting, lard is spread over it to avoid drying out the meat.’
      • ‘The samples were further dried overnight under vacuum.’
      • ‘They were washing and drying dishes and chattering when the doorbell rang.’
      • ‘He has my window open and my space heater running to try to dry out the carpet, and he'll replace that if necessary.’
      • ‘What she remembers most clearly about that afternoon is her mother's anger because Anny had taken so long to wash and dry one of her nighties.’
      • ‘Many contain sugar, which feeds odor-causing bacteria, and sprays and mouthwashes generally contain alcohol, which dries out your mouth.’
      make dry, dry out, dry up, parch, scorch, sear, bake
      dry off, towel, rub
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[with object] Wipe tears from (the eyes):
      ‘she dried her eyes and blew her nose’
      • ‘I took off my glasses, dried my eyes and told her the word I had meant to say, ‘Happy.’’
      • ‘Jeanette was drying her eyes while Allison was talking angrily and making wild gestures.’
      • ‘Mama was drying her eyes, and Molly was whispering some words of comfort to Emily.’
      • ‘Some have beats that make you want to make your very own dance floor in your bedroom, and some that make you grab tissues to dry your eyes.’
      • ‘I dry my eyes and look to her for some sort of reassurance.’
      • ‘Sasha dried his eyes up a bit by wiping them on his shirt and tried to talk straight.’
      • ‘He got in his car and leaned his head back against the seat, he dried his eyes from threatening tears and drove off.’
      • ‘The Count went to his brother, stood next to him and looked down, while drying his eyes with a handkerchief.’
      • ‘As they say in the army, dry your eyes and harden up.’
      • ‘She pulled her hand across her face, drying her eyes, and sniffed.’
      • ‘I sniffle a bit, and he picks me up, drying my eyes with his sleeve.’
      • ‘She raised her head from her arms and dried her eyes with the back of her hand like a child.’
      • ‘I toddled into the bathroom, and first dried my eyes on a large, fluffy towel which was hanging low enough for me to reach.’
      • ‘She turned to the other side, away from Michael's questioning gaze, drying her eyes with her sleeves.’
      • ‘By then I had already dried my eyes, the girls were clean and eating cookies in front of the T.V, accompanied by me.’
      • ‘Brett saw Daniel leave and leapt up, trying to dry his eyes but he knew his cheeks were still tear stained.’
      • ‘‘Oh, nothing,’ she said drying her eyes, and that was it - no explanation, after that she was fine.’
      • ‘She finds a wall mirror and finishes drying her eyes, and then she smiles strangely, admiring herself.’
      • ‘But you didn't deceive even yourself, for your hand was shaking, and it wasn't the steam that made you dry your eyes.’
      • ‘The rest of you dry your eyes, you've got to walk away now, it's over.’
      wipe, wipe tears from, rub, dab
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3also (British) dry up Wipe dishes dry with a cloth after they have been washed:
      ‘‘I'll wash, Sara, you dry’’
      • ‘When I helped Gemma to dry up, the tea towel slid on oily cutlery.’
      • ‘Finished painting the conservatory, had something to eat, washed up, dried up, and ironed a top for tomorrow.’
      • ‘‘I'll wash, you dry,’ said Jake, turning on the tap and staring at the water that gushed out.’
      dry off, towel, rub
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4usually as adjective dried[with object] Preserve by allowing or encouraging evaporation of moisture from:
      ‘dried flowers’
      • ‘Baskets woven from leaves and grass held fruit and dried meat.’
      • ‘Try dried apricots and almonds, dried mangoes and Brazil nuts, and dried figs and walnuts.’
      • ‘The meat was dried in the malting kiln and ground in the malt mill.’
      • ‘Fresh fruit or dried fruits can play an important role in satisfying the sweet tooth and combating obesity.’
      • ‘Because I am currently burning the candle at both ends, got home and made my bread, left it to rise, and made my Moroccan dried fruit salad.’
      • ‘Some salad dressings contain sulfites, and so do dried fruits like apricots or golden raisins.’
      • ‘Most of us know that dried chamomile flowers infused to make a tea, calm, soothe and help you sleep.’
      • ‘Flowers can be dried and used in arrangements, wreaths, potpourri, sachets, and more.’
      • ‘Spinach, dried beans and dried fruit are all natural products rich in iron.’
      • ‘Dates or dried fruit are great for satisfying sweet cravings.’
      • ‘They shouldered baskets of vegetables and dried fruits which they had brought to change for salt and candies.’
      • ‘Wire flowers before drying them; after they're dried, they may shatter.’
      • ‘Fragrant barks and dried flowers hold their own appeal.’
      • ‘Muntries is a native plant that's well-known to local Aboriginal people; they ate the fruits and dried them to trade with other tribes.’
      • ‘The atmosphere is heavy with the scents of a dark corner of the garden or even of the inside of one of the sheds, all damp wood and dried flower heads.’
      • ‘Among other things, Sakhi inmates are given training in flower arrangement using dried parts of plants.’
      • ‘Healthy nibbles, for me, would be dried fruit, fruit and yoghurt.’
      • ‘Peony flowers also can be dried and used in arrangements.’
      • ‘If I crave something sweet it's usually dried apricots or dried cranberries.’
      • ‘When fresh fruits are dried, the sugar in them becomes much more concentrated: about 70 per cent of the weight of a raisin comes from sugar.’
      dehydrated, desiccated, dry, dried up, moistureless
      desiccate, dehydrate, remove the moisture from
      dry up, dehydrate, desiccate
      View synonyms
  • 2theatrical slang Forget one's lines:

    ‘a colleague of mine once dried in the middle of a scene’
    • ‘Sox is an actor who dries at an audition because he cannot relate to the character of a township gangster.’
    • ‘I averted my eyes from Guinness to watch Tony, and Alec dried, that is, he forgot his lines.’

noun

  • 1The process or an instance of drying.

    • ‘Soft towelling that gives you a good, clean dry every time.’
    • ‘The head seamstress decided she was clean enough, and hauled her out of the bath, and gave her a cruelly brisk dry all over, hoping to teach her a lesson.’
  • 2the dryA dry or covered place.

    1. 2.1Australian The dry season:
      ‘the grass was yellowing and the dry had started’
      • ‘There would be stubble after the crop's harvested, therefore cattle feed, especially in the end of the dry.’
      • ‘This long dry has a mythic, Murphy's law feel to it… in another few years it would not have mattered so much to our business.’
      • ‘Other countries are starting to make use of the technique, so why not get the federal funds to save us from another big dry - urgently.’
      • ‘Cattle were simply moved from one water place to the next: away from the river in the wet season, closer to it in the dry.’
      • ‘The course is in top condition considering the dry, with a big help from the volunteers.’
    2. 2.2Australian A tract of waterless country:
      ‘the forty-mile dry’
      • ‘From the waterhole an old camel pad led out over the ‘eighty miles dry’.’
  • 3British usually driesA Conservative politician (especially in the 1980s) in favour of strict monetarist policies.

    • ‘The divisions in Cabinet were less between ‘wets’ and ‘drys’ on economic policy and more on Europe between ‘sceptics’ and supporters.’
    • ‘Margaret Thatcher's reputation belongs to the whole Conservative Party, ‘wets’ and ‘dries’ alike.’
    • ‘Hewson is an economic dry with progressive views on foreign policy, the environment and human rights.’
    • ‘Any self-respecting Country Party MP would have taken to the economic dries of the Liberal Party with an axe years ago.’
    • ‘They supported the pork-barrelling and protection of special interests, fighting a desperate rearguard action against the advancing dries.’
    • ‘But he says the divide is no longer between liberals and conservatives, or economic wets and dries.’
    monetarist
    arch-conservative, right-winger, reactionary
    supply-sider
    View synonyms
  • 4US A person in favour of the prohibition of alcohol:

    ‘evangelical dries had seen to it that the nearest bottle of whiskey was miles away’
    • ‘‘So far, then, as the liquor issue may figure in the campaign,’ the Century editorialized, ‘the drys can have nothing but opposition to the Democratic campaign’.’
    • ‘To do that, Snider heads out to the various tour stops and surveys the dries, including the hotels they may stay in, the surrounding areas and potential performance halls.’
    • ‘Exploiting division in their opponents' ranks, drys drafted the bill and pressured Congress to pass it.’

Phrases

  • come up dry

    • Be unsuccessful:

      ‘experiments have so far come up dry’
      • ‘Well, Percy had a look through his own libraries and came up dry, so he called me.’
      • ‘But in the aftermath of our victory, the search for evidence of this program has thus far come up dry.’
      • ‘I scoured the entire store, including the sale racks and the junior trendsetters section but came up dry.’
      • ‘Until they came up dry, they'd follow his lead without question.’
      • ‘I tried looking up ‘blacksmith’ using Canada 411 but for some reason it came up dry.’
      • ‘The Spanish producers of the film had planned to shoot in the republic but their search for a suitable location came up dry.’
      • ‘The initial probe included an allegation of illegal arms shipment to Honduras, but the charge came up dry.’
      • ‘She began thinking carefully of somewhere to go again but like before came up dry.’
      • ‘Apparently the investigation came up dry and was suspended.’
      • ‘Between now and then, we either have to find some weapons of mass destruction, or come up with an incredibly plausible reason why our searches are coming up dry.’
  • (as) dry as a bone

    • Extremely dry.

      • ‘Two thirds of Australia is as dry as a bone, over 5 million square kilometres of rock, scrub and sand.’
      • ‘It's been as dry as a bone here in South Australia and much of Australia until last Friday.’
      • ‘It's got hints of raspberry flavour and is as dry as a bone, with that Burgundy ability to vaporise pleasantly in the mouth.’
      • ‘If your favorite ride is being rained out, there is always another spot to ride that is dry as a bone.’
      • ‘I got up, sauntered over to grab a trolley, and made my way into the store, dry as a bone.’
      • ‘But there was disappointment for visitors to Piccadilly Gardens, because the water feature there was dry as a bone after it stopped working.’
      • ‘As water bodies dry up, and the supply lines remain dry as a bone, the city residents are in for a long and hot spell of drought.’
      • ‘In just a matter of weeks, Colorado and the surrounding states suddenly go dry as a bone.’
      • ‘The plants are dying and the ducks are getting desperate as their pond is dry as a bone.’
      • ‘Now was no different, he could wander the desert forever and come back dry as a bone and cool as ice.’
  • (as) dry as dust

    • 1Extremely dry:

      ‘his throat was dry as dust’
      • ‘Her arms and legs felt like hundred-pound weights; the inside of Tory's mouth felt like the sand of the Sahara desert, dry as dust.’
      • ‘My dad would try every now and then but his potatoes were dry as dust.’
      • ‘Cocoa Puffs, dry as dust and hard as she poured them into the bowl, the glass still warm from the hot water.’
      • ‘He saw the woman stand slowly and his mouth tasted as dry as dust.’
      1. 1.1Extremely dull; lacking emotion, expression, or interest:
        ‘what the students learned was as dry as dust’
        • ‘Van Gogh may have attended art school in Antwerp, but he found it dry as dust and here we see his real teachers: Delacroix Courbet, Millet and Rembrandt.’
        • ‘This does not mean however that the correct approach must be dry as dust.’
        • ‘His commentary track is dry as dust.’
        • ‘A legend as a player, now dry as dust on German TV - but strangely endearing for it.’
        • ‘I searched in vain for a subject that wasn't deadly boring, dry as dust, and leached of every detail of the kind that makes things interesting in real life.’
        • ‘The presenter has an infectious enthusiasm that television producers believe lends popular appeal to subjects that some viewers might otherwise consider dry as dust.’
        • ‘Better illustrated than usual, no doubt, but probably dry as dust.’
        • ‘Had they been written by a psychologist I feel sure they would be as dry as dust.’
        • ‘How could such a man have been a mere mechanical nincompoop churning out thousands of pages of dry as dust études intent only on stifling the eager piano student?’
        • ‘US audiences will find this latter subject dry as dust and uninteresting.’
        dull, uninteresting, boring, unexciting, tedious, tiresome, wearisome, dreary, monotonous, dry as dust, arid
        View synonyms
  • there wasn't a dry eye (in the house)

    • (with reference to a play, film, or similar event) everyone in the audience was moved to tears.

      • ‘Jackie's beautiful cousin sang ‘Ring-a-ring-a-Rosie ‘and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.’
      • ‘After the three children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia were all named Child of the Year, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.’
      • ‘The service was really nice, even for a non-religious person like me, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.’
      • ‘The concert was a lovely, memorable experience for all involved, and there wasn't a dry eye in the hall.’
      • ‘And there wasn't a dry eye in the House when Fonda told of how her father led his family out of the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma during the Great Depression.’
      • ‘Perhaps the most moving moment was when Michael's boyfriend read out a little speech, and when he quoted a Dusty song at the end I'm sure there wasn't a dry eye in the house.’
      • ‘And our last weekly trip together to the Poetry reading, Won wrote this poem for me and after she was done reading it there wasn't a dry eye in the house.’
      • ‘I'm sure there wasn't a dry eye in the place, and mine were no exception.’
      • ‘They had a moment of silence and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.’
      • ‘I will always remember one night one Australian tenor singing ‘Somewhere a Voice is Calling’ - there wasn't a dry eye in the room.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • dry an animal off

    • Cease milking and reduce the rations of a cow or other animal so that it stops producing milk:

      ‘cows are dried off about 90 days before calving’
      • ‘All cows are dried off together and all farmers do this at the same time.’
      • ‘His cows are dried off to allow them to calve down at a condition score of 3.2.’
      • ‘Consider drying heifers off even if in good body condition and give them every chance for the next lactation.’
      • ‘In an ideal world our aim must be to dry the cow off in the BCS we would like to calve her down, that is a BCS of 3.0 to 3.25 on a scale of 1 to 5.’
  • dry out

    • Overcome alcoholism:

      ‘he intends to dry out and get his life back together again’
      • ‘He was a lost soul with illusions, endlessly drying out from drugs and then going back on them.’
      • ‘Billy's lawyer alleges that Iris has a drink problem, while her lawyer claims that he had spent three weeks in a monastery drying out.’
      • ‘Apparently she's drying out in a hospital somewhere.’
      • ‘It's the additional bottle of schnapps for the alky who should be drying out.’
      • ‘I have every intention of drying out enough to get back to work on the novel by Friday.’
      give up drinking, give up alcohol, become teetotal, overcome alcoholism, take the pledge
      go on the wagon
      View synonyms
  • dry up

    • 1Cease talking:

      ‘then he dried up, and Phil couldn't get another word out of him’
      • ‘As BBC producers knew only too well, although he was a great talker, when faced with a microphone, he would dry up.’
      • ‘I am worried that when I perform in front of people, I will dry up.’
      stop speaking, stop talking, fall silent, say no more, shut up
      View synonyms
    • 2(of something perceived as a continuous flow or source) decrease and stop:

      ‘his commissions began to dry up’
      • ‘Many companies in the US over-invested on the back of ambitious growth forecasts and find themselves heavily indebted as cash flows dry up.’
      • ‘I think his cash flow may dry up and he won't be able to put his kids through college.’
      • ‘The sole means of income dried up and she stopped going to school.’
      • ‘But by the end of 2002 the stream of good news began to dry up as the economic downturn dragged on.’
      • ‘Now, with increased pollution, even that source of income is drying up.’
      • ‘My source of free-range eggs dried up last month when Mr Fox made off with our neighbour's hens.’
      • ‘With non-renewable energy sources drying up pretty rapidly alternatives will start to come on stream consistently in the coming years, Dr O'Connor said.’
      • ‘Roles begin to dry up for women in Hollywood by about 45, she concedes, and branching out was part of remaining vital in the business.’
      • ‘When revenue from albums began to dry up, it was natural for bands to raise concert prices.’
      • ‘When the movie work began to dry up, Groucho Marx found a new lease of life as the host of a radio quiz show, You Bet Your Life.’
      dwindle, wane, disappear, fail, vanish, subside, peter out, die away, die off, die out, taper off, trail away, trail off, ebb, melt away, evaporate, come to nothing, come to a an end, come to a halt end, run out, give out
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English drȳge (adjective), drȳgan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Middle Low German dröge, Dutch droog, and German trocken.

Pronunciation:

dry

/drʌɪ/