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 it dry with his shirt’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When cleaning the body of the light, it is recommended to use a dry, lint free cloth for the best possible result.’
    • ‘The central glasshouse had two lean-to hothouses, one dry for cacti, the other humid for tropical plants.’
    • ‘Wipe the screen daily using window cleaner, then polish it with a clean dry cloth.’
    • ‘She managed to stay mostly dry, but the cuffs of her pants were damp.’
    • ‘She climbed onto the rock and patted herself dry with one of the blankets.’
    • ‘Strain the yolk through a muslin cloth into a clean dry bowl.’
    • ‘Drain and place the blanched vegetables on an absorbent cloth and pat them dry.’
    • ‘The affected areas should be kept as dry and as free of friction as possible.’
    • ‘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 sighed, realizing Hawk was right: she needed to let these clothes dry.’
    • ‘Katy finally broke free of the dry vegetation and hurried off the path and to the guard rail that separated her from Justin.’
    • ‘Water the plant when the soil surface feels dry to a light touch.’
    • ‘I got out and wiped myself dry with a white fluffy towel.’
    • ‘No single profession has as its duty the obligation to provide a building that is dry and free of mold growth.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If the soil seems too dry or too moist, adjust the controller.’
    • ‘Her blue jeans were beginning to grow damp and she longed for the feel of dry clothes and a warm blanket.’
    • ‘Water regularly during growth and bloom, then keep the soil fairly dry during summer.’
    • ‘They also require housing in shelter that is warm, dry and as draught free as possible.’
    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 Having lost all wetness or moisture over a period of time.
      ‘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.’
      • ‘We were a mess, both covered with dry paint, and rehearsals for one of my most important scenes had already begun!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When paint is dry, peel off laminate's backing and position the stencil on the pot where you want it.’
      • ‘It is not the first time that a ceasefire has been broken before 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After the paint was dry, students had the option of using oil pastels to add even more pattern to their paintings.’
      • ‘Windows started falling out of the hotels before the paint was dry.’
      • ‘We applied a solid area of color first, and then we invented decorative patterns over the dry paint.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When the paint is dry, brush on white crafts glue - which dries clear - and adhere glass seed beads.’
      • ‘The ink is hardly dry on young Hay's new three-year contract.’
      • ‘The ink is barely dry on the deal, but already interested parties in Australia are focussing on the process ahead.’
      • ‘Nowadays, the iconoclastic Vasan is almost an icon and his material is sometimes snapped up even before the paint is dry.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After I had made sure that the ink was dry, I picked it up, and headed out to find the things on the list.’
      • ‘Well apparently, the dating scene there is about as exciting as dry paint.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2 For use without liquid.
      ‘the conversion of dry latrines into flush toilets’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Under this Act construction of a dry latrine and its manual cleaning was made an offence.’
      • ‘Calvert points out that the floods triggered by the recent storm surge had demonstrated the eco friendly nature of the dry latrines.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Recommendations resulting from the meeting included the use of dry sanitation facilities in informal settlements.’
    3. 1.3 With little or no rainfall or humidity.
      ‘the West Coast has had two dry winters in a row’
      • ‘If they have good root systems they can withstand severe dry spells without injury.’
      • ‘There is seldom a long dry spell and rainfall is abundant.’
      • ‘While very little rain falls during the dry season, the amount that does fall is more variable than during the wet season.’
      • ‘Saturday and Sunday looks like being drier at the moment with the chance of a light frost overnight.’
      • ‘Testing during extremely dry weather or when the ground is frozen may be less desirable.’
      • ‘In the winter, the winds reverse and blow in a seaward direction, which is the reason why Indian winters are so dry.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When temperatures drop, so does the skin's moisture level - a direct result of dehydrating cold, dry air.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The cold winters and dry climate would stress the animals all across the Northern Hemisphere.’
      • ‘During the growing season, keep the roots moist in dry weather and take care when weeding, as blackcurrants are shallow-rooted.’
      • ‘On my first visit to the short grass plains of the southern Serengeti, they were as parched and dry as any desert.’
      • ‘It was a dry month, with rainfall being only 47 per cent of average and reservoirs only 59 per cent full.’
      • ‘The polar continental is usually a dry air mass, having little distance to travel over the sea.’
      • ‘But Scotland and Northern Ireland will see the best of the weather with mostly dry spells.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ghana's subequatorial climate is warm and humid, with distinct alternations between rainy summer and dry winters.’
      • ‘Their shade reduces evaporation and keeps the soil moist during the dry season, and their roots protect the banks from erosion.’
      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 evaporation and lack of rainfall.
      ‘the river is always dry at this time of year’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Almost all of these are away from major rivers, dry creeks, and sagebrush flats, where recent sediments tend to cover the older rocks.’
      • ‘The dams were empty, the creek was dry, all I had was two bores.’
      • ‘A surge of water was barreling down on him from the far end of the dry river bed.’
      • ‘Bessie and Randy were making their way out of the dry river bed that was sometimes Kiowa Creek.’
      • ‘On a typical summer day, several dozen dust devils spin across the dry lake bed in Nevada's Eldorado Valley.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They began some 190,000 years ago when a major volcano blew its top, spewing molten lava into nearby dry river beds.’
      • ‘In Australia, salt is produced by solar evaporation from sea water, saline lake waters, underground brines and harvested from dry lake beds.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He pulled his horses to the edge of the highway, above a stupendous array of mountains, dry rivers, scrubby hill crests.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The chase cars began because we were using a dry lake bed for initial training before using the paved runway.’
      • ‘The withered trees and dry streams portray the grim situation.’
      • ‘From the next bridge one can see some more sculpted rock, and round the corner the river was dry in this wettest of seasons.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Hughes also notes that the aquifer runs beneath two dry lakes in the area, Cadiz and Bristol.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We swooped along a dry river bed to land near the Settlers Arms Inn, in St Albans.’
      • ‘The riverine woodland diminishes daily and most rivers are dry for some of the year.’
      waterless, dried out, empty
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5 (of a source) not yielding a supply of water or oil.
      ‘a dry well’
      • ‘Hesaraghatta lake, one of the biggest sources of fresh water supply to the city, went dry quite sometime ago.’
      • ‘Residents have turned to the murky pond for their water supply, as truck- and pipe-borne sources have been almost dry.’
      • ‘Will there be an end to exports from the country as tax makes most of the oil supply go dry?’
      • ‘Since then, one of the wells used to supply the community with water has gone dry.’
    6. 1.6 Thirsty or thirst-making.
      ‘working in the hot sun is making me dry’
      ‘dry work’
      • ‘Ice cream sells better in winter in pedestrian malls and large department stores, whose air-conditioning systems often make shoppers feel hot and dry.’
      • ‘Early in the afternoon, they approached a small cottage, where no well could be seen, but the pilgrims were thirsty and dry.’
      • ‘The drinking habits of the time involved the guest calling for a drink every time he felt dry.’
      thirsty, dehydrated, longing for a drink
      thirst-making, thirst-provoking, thirsty, hot, strenuous, arduous, heavy, tiring, exhausting
      View synonyms
    7. 1.7 (of a cow or other domestic animal) having stopped producing milk.
      • ‘Yearling cattle, heifers and dry cows could be used to follow finishing cattle to clear off paddocks that have dried out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Cow numbers were held constant at 100 mature lactating and dry cows, plus replacements.’
      • ‘In order of preference, dry cows and heifers will suffer no setback through being indoors for a couple of weeks.’
    8. 1.8 Without grease or other moisturizer or lubricator.
      ‘cream conditioners for dry hair’
      ‘his throat was dry and sore’
      • ‘That said, men with dry hair should try to limit washings to every three days or so.’
      • ‘If you can't find a conditioner for black hair, try one designed for dry hair instead as these will have a similar effect.’
      • ‘Recently I have also noticed extremely dry skin on my arms, legs and feet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His voice surged for a moment but it was scratchy, his throat was very dry.’
      • ‘They were recommended by a friend, and helped my hair not be so dry from all of the color treatments.’
      • ‘If your hair is excessively dry and it does not respond to the above treatments, you may not be eating enough fat.’
      • ‘If your problem is dry hair, first massage coconut or olive into your scalp.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Next Lisa applies an ‘intensive hydrating masque’ which is oil free and perfect for dry skin like mine.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘A regular deep conditioning treatment can also help rehydrate dry hair.’
      • ‘If you have other telltale symptoms, such as brittle hair and nails, dry skin and a tendency to feel cold, definitely get checked out.’
      • ‘Her palms were feeling extremely sweaty all of a sudden, but her throat was very dry.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In addition, try sucking a throat lozenge as the sucking action helps to keep a dry throat moist.’
      • ‘Gary said the first warning sign is normally a sore or dry throat, the feeling most people associate with swollen glands.’
      • ‘If your hair is very dry, damaged or chemically treated, treat yourself to a deep conditioning once a week.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘The combination of dry bread and endless cheese leads to the diner having to chew away at the food for, oh, several hours.’
      • ‘In such glorious surroundings, a slice of dry bread and a plank would have sufficed.’
      • ‘But now on the morning after, swallowing dry toast would be a challenge too far.’
      • ‘Half a slice of dry toast and a few spoonfuls of soup isn't a meal, you can hardly say you've eaten, Lauren.’
      • ‘Chances are quite good that lunch on any given weekday was a hamburger patty and cheese on plain, dry bread served with fries.’
      • ‘They all agreed and soon we were eating plain dry toast when the phone rang.’
      • ‘He hardly ate, a bag of nuts or dry bread seeing him through the day.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To be on the safe side we avoid milk and cereal and Akra gives him a piece of dry toast.’
      • ‘He would bring a sandwich to school each day which he had carefully made himself from two pieces of dry bread.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Eat dry foods, such as crackers or dry toast, before moving in the morning.’
      • ‘I also enjoy a light, fluffy omelet, or maybe basted eggs with bacon or strawberries and dry toast.’
      • ‘No one came round the cells except to push dry bread and water through twice a day and even that varied.’
      • ‘So, he got out his bread knife and trimmed the quarter-loaf down to a couple of slices of dry toast.’
      • ‘In between, she sits in the shade of a tree, to eat a lunch of dry bread and chutney.’
      • ‘He sat down to his usual breakfast of eggs and dry toast.’
      • ‘He noticed that she wasn't eating much, just nibbling on a bit of dry toast.’
      unbuttered, plain, butterless
      View synonyms
  • 2Bare or lacking adornment.

    ‘the dry facts’
    1. 2.1 Unexciting; dull.
      ‘by current tastes the text is dry’
      • ‘Even a normally dry, dull and barely read political journal got in on the act with a feature on the demise of hip-hop.’
      • ‘I heartily recommend this book by the way, I thought it was going to be dry and dull but it's actually extremely readable and enjoyable.’
      • ‘Commentaries on Bond discs have always been dry and dull.’
      • ‘The reason why these toys catch their fancy is that life for them after school is generally dry and dull with very few activities to keep them happy.’
      • ‘He has a few interesting anecdotes and some good background information, but his commentary is a bit dull and dry.’
      • ‘Instead, this dry and rather dull track does not go into great detail about anything.’
      • ‘He did not write in the dry, dull, bureaucratic style of most modern judges.’
      • ‘For a documentary, this is certainly not your typical dry regurgitation of facts and figures.’
      • ‘I began to read less and less in college as classes demanded more time with dull, dry textbooks and other assigned works.’
      bare, simple, basic, fundamental, stark, naked, bald, cold, hard, straightforward
      dull, uninteresting, boring, unexciting, tedious, tiresome, wearisome, dreary, monotonous, dry as dust, arid
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Unemotional, undemonstrative, or impassive.
      ‘Ralph gave me a dry, silent wave’
      • ‘I always love the incredibly dry, spare tone of the Times when it approaches ultra-weird subjects.’
      • ‘‘What an elaborate scheme,’ a dry voice commented.’
      • ‘‘Is that a problem?’ she asked in a dry tone that I thought I may have imagined.’
      • ‘The dry, silent male mourning seemed much worse than the noisy grief of the women.’
      • ‘Marty flails about on stage for a while, desperately trying to drum up some enthusiasm and energy for what is a dull, dry performance.’
      • ‘Given the vantage point of 35 years, LeWitt's art scarcely seems emotionally dry.’
      • ‘The politician's agenda does tend to be as dry and unemotional as his personality.’
      • ‘His comments were made in dull, dry tones, suggesting he'd rather be anywhere else.’
      • ‘His voice sounded dull and dry to him, without depth or meaning anymore.’
      • ‘A dry skepticism likewise informs her views on the art world, and on the varying fortunes of Duchamp's work and reputation within it.’
      • ‘So any construal of forgiveness that seems flat or dry is obviously lacking.’
      • ‘In contrast to what he sees as the dry formalism of his forbears, Morrison offers a self-consciously passionate response to the play.’
      • ‘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.’
      unemotional, indifferent, undemonstrative, impassive, cool, cold, clinical, passionless, emotionless
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3 (of a joke or sense of humor) subtle, expressed in a matter-of-fact way, and having the appearance of being unconscious or unintentional.
      ‘he delighted his friends with a dry, covert sense of humor’
      • ‘There is a fine line between dry wit and wicked sarcasm.’
      • ‘His sense of humour was dry, he could be irascible, and he was razor sharp.’
      • ‘Each page of The Finishing School is alive with her customary ironic, dry wit, and yet she somehow leaves the reader thirsty for more.’
      • ‘The show was hosted by a young woman who also injected a dry sense of humour into her performance.’
      • ‘Many found his manner abrupt at times, but his sardonic humour and dry wit were much enjoyed.’
      • ‘There are really dry jokes throughout the whole thing.’
      • ‘Kev's dry wit and quiet sense of humour was much appreciated.’
      • ‘She has a very dry sense of humor, much like mine actually.’
      • ‘Subtle jokes and dry humour set up some nice character development, backed by worthy acting.’
      • ‘He will be remembered for his quick wit, his one-liners and his dry sense of humour.’
      • ‘Add to that the invention, intelligence and dry wit this title contains, and it deserves to top the charts.’
      • ‘But viewer beware, a dry sense of humour is needed to enjoy this movie to its fullest.’
      • ‘He had a great sense of humour and a ready, dry wit but he embodied a certain kind of simplicity and humility.’
      • ‘I have a dry sense of humor, which the girls love me for.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Dr. House has the perfect dry wit to deal with his rather depressing field of work.’
      • ‘It stays true to its roots of biting satire and dry wit and avoids becoming nonsensical.’
      • ‘It's made me laugh from your dry humor and weep for the victims of corporate crime tactics.’
      • ‘I wanted to think this was some kind of dry joke, but 3 years of servile apologetics from some broadcasters prevent me.’
      • ‘He had a very dry sense of humor that made her think of her father.’
      wry, subtle, low-key, laconic, sly, sharp
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  • 3Prohibiting the sale or consumption of alcoholic drink.

    ‘Indiana stayed dry after the end of prohibition’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The distillery, you see, lies in a parish that's been dry since 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.’
    prohibitionist
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 (of a person) no longer addicted to or drinking alcohol.
      ‘I heard much talk about how sobriety was more than staying straight or dry’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is the kind of subtle, nasty attack used by alcoholics and dry drunks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He is a dry alcoholic: that is, he simply quit one day, without going through Alcoholics Anonymous or any similar group.’
      • ‘Mr Keane senior was an alcoholic who would be dry for several months and a raging drunk the rest of the time.’
  • 4(of an alcoholic drink) not sweet.

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

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Become dry.

    ‘waiting for the paint to dry’
    ‘come in out of the rain and dry off’
    ‘do not let the soil dry out’
    ‘pools are left as the rivers dry up’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After swimming we sat on a log to dry off in the sun.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Moisturize your skin constantly to help prevent your skin from drying out and from getting wrinkles.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If blistering does occur, allow the paint to dry for a few days.’
    • ‘The sun is finally out in Calgary, and despite a quick thunderstorm this afternoon, things seem to be drying out.’
    • ‘There was a downpour so we went to his apartment to dry off.’
    • ‘Have to keep the throat from drying out, no matter how much it hurts to swallow.’
    • ‘Let the pots stand in a saucer of water, ideally rainwater, then let them dry off a bit over the winter.’
    • ‘Have you ever watched your clothes dry in the clothes dryer at the laundromat?’
    • ‘The ink dried quickly on glossy paper and didn't have a strong odor.’
    • ‘Barely had the ink dried on last week's column than the phone rang.’
    • ‘He uses a piece of unsliced smoked salmon, and slices it slightly thicker than normal so that it will pan-fry without drying out.’
    • ‘Leave the shower doors or curtain open after bathing so that it dries faster.’
    • ‘Soil dries faster in terra-cotta pots, high temperatures and wind.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She looked up and over at me in surprise, tears slowly drying up.’
    1. 1.1[with object] Cause to become dry.
      ‘they had washed and dried their hair’
      • ‘Wash and dry your hands or use soft cotton gloves.’
      • ‘I also advise using moisturiser, especially in winter, as the cold air dries the skin.’
      • ‘Local companies have also provided dehumidifiers to dry out the classroom damaged by the van.’
      • ‘During roasting, lard is spread over it to avoid drying out the meat.’
      • ‘Isn't it obvious that such an elaborate grooming procedure would be left to after one has washed and dried one's hair?’
      • ‘David finished drying and washing the dishes and headed off to take a shower.’
      • ‘Many contain sugar, which feeds odor-causing bacteria, and sprays and mouthwashes generally contain alcohol, which dries out your mouth.’
      • ‘After I worked out, I showered and dried my hair and fixed my face, and generally returned myself to a reasonably presentable state.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mrs Dunn said she left a bedroom window slightly ajar for about half an hour to dry off some washing.’
      • ‘To sterilise your jars before potting, wash them well then dry them in a low oven.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I hurriedly washed and dried some jeans - just in time for my train.’
      • ‘He has my window open and my space heater running to try to dry out the carpet, and he'll replace that if necessary.’
      • ‘Thankfully, some high winds have helped to dry off the playing pitches.’
      • ‘The samples were further dried overnight under vacuum.’
      • ‘So, my job was to dry out the string - I microwaved it, would you believe - and then to hang up the cards.’
      • ‘I move to the sink, wash my hands, dry them and set the timer.’
      • ‘They were washing and drying dishes and chattering when the doorbell rang.’
      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’
      • ‘She pulled her hand across her face, drying her eyes, and sniffed.’
      • ‘He got in his car and leaned his head back against the seat, he dried his eyes from threatening tears and drove off.’
      • ‘Sasha dried his eyes up a bit by wiping them on his shirt and tried to talk straight.’
      • ‘Mama was drying her eyes, and Molly was whispering some words of comfort to Emily.’
      • ‘She raised her head from her arms and dried her eyes with the back of her hand like a child.’
      • ‘The Count went to his brother, stood next to him and looked down, while drying his eyes with a handkerchief.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As they say in the army, dry your eyes and harden up.’
      • ‘But you didn't deceive even yourself, for your hand was shaking, and it wasn't the steam that made you dry your eyes.’
      • ‘I sniffle a bit, and he picks me up, drying my eyes with his sleeve.’
      • ‘‘Oh, nothing,’ she said drying her eyes, and that was it - no explanation, after that she was fine.’
      • ‘The rest of you dry your eyes, you've got to walk away now, it's over.’
      • ‘I toddled into the bathroom, and first dried my eyes on a large, fluffy towel which was hanging low enough for me to reach.’
      • ‘I took off my glasses, dried my eyes and told her the word I had meant to say, ‘Happy.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Jeanette was drying her eyes while Allison was talking angrily and making wild gestures.’
      • ‘She finds a wall mirror and finishes drying her eyes, and then she smiles strangely, admiring herself.’
      • ‘I dry my eyes and look to her for some sort of reassurance.’
      • ‘Brett saw Daniel leave and leapt up, trying to dry his eyes but he knew his cheeks were still tear stained.’
      wipe, wipe tears from, rub, dab
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Wipe dishes dry with a cloth after they have been washed.
      • ‘When I helped Gemma to dry up, the tea towel slid on oily cutlery.’
      • ‘‘I'll wash, you dry,’ said Jake, turning on the tap and staring at the water that gushed out.’
      • ‘Finished painting the conservatory, had something to eat, washed up, dried up, and ironed a top for tomorrow.’
      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’
      • ‘Among other things, Sakhi inmates are given training in flower arrangement using dried parts of plants.’
      • ‘Baskets woven from leaves and grass held fruit and dried meat.’
      • ‘Wire flowers before drying them; after they're dried, they may shatter.’
      • ‘Dates or dried fruit are great for satisfying sweet cravings.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Fragrant barks and dried flowers hold their own appeal.’
      • ‘Flowers can be dried and used in arrangements, wreaths, potpourri, sachets, and more.’
      • ‘Healthy nibbles, for me, would be dried fruit, fruit and yoghurt.’
      • ‘The meat was dried in the malting kiln and ground in the malt mill.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They shouldered baskets of vegetables and dried fruits which they had brought to change for salt and candies.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Most of us know that dried chamomile flowers infused to make a tea, calm, soothe and help you sleep.’
      • ‘If I crave something sweet it's usually dried apricots or dried cranberries.’
      • ‘Try dried apricots and almonds, dried mangoes and Brazil nuts, and dried figs and walnuts.’
      • ‘Fresh fruit or dried fruits can play an important role in satisfying the sweet tooth and combating obesity.’
      • ‘Spinach, dried beans and dried fruit are all natural products rich in iron.’
      • ‘Peony flowers also can be dried and used in arrangements.’
      dry up, dehydrate, desiccate
      dehydrated, desiccated, dry, dried up, moistureless
      desiccate, dehydrate, remove the moisture from
      View synonyms
  • 2theatrical slang Forget one's lines.

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

noun

US
  • A person in favor of the prohibition of alcohol.

    • ‘‘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’.’
    • ‘Exploiting division in their opponents' ranks, drys drafted the bill and pressured Congress to pass it.’
    • ‘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.’

Phrases

  • come up dry

    • Be unsuccessful.

      ‘experiments have so far come up dry’
      • ‘The initial probe included an allegation of illegal arms shipment to Honduras, but the charge came up dry.’
      • ‘Well, Percy had a look through his own libraries and came up dry, so he called me.’
      • ‘Until they came up dry, they'd follow his lead without question.’
      • ‘She began thinking carefully of somewhere to go again but like before came up dry.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I scoured the entire store, including the sale racks and the junior trendsetters section but came up dry.’
      • ‘Apparently the investigation came up dry and was suspended.’
      • ‘But in the aftermath of our victory, the search for evidence of this program has thus far come up dry.’
      • ‘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.

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

    • 1Extremely dry.

      • ‘He saw the woman stand slowly and his mouth tasted as 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.’
      • ‘Cocoa Puffs, dry as dust and hard as she poured them into the bowl, the glass still warm from the hot water.’
      • ‘My dad would try every now and then but his potatoes were dry as dust.’
      1. 1.1Extremely dull; lacking emotion, expression, or interest.
        ‘what the students learned was as dry as dust’
        • ‘The presenter has an infectious enthusiasm that television producers believe lends popular appeal to subjects that some viewers might otherwise consider dry as dust.’
        • ‘US audiences will find this latter subject dry as dust and uninteresting.’
        • ‘A legend as a player, now dry as dust on German TV - but strangely endearing for it.’
        • ‘This does not mean however that the correct approach must be 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?’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘His commentary track is dry as dust.’
        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.

      • ‘After the three children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia were all named Child of the Year, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.’
      • ‘Jackie's beautiful cousin sang ‘Ring-a-ring-a-Rosie ‘and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I'm sure there wasn't a dry eye in the place, and mine were no exception.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They had a moment of silence 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.’
      • ‘The service was really nice, even for a non-religious person like me, 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 out

    • (of an alcoholic) abstain from alcoholic drink, especially as part of a detoxification program.

      ‘he intends to dry out and get his life back together again’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was a lost soul with illusions, endlessly drying out from drugs and then going back on them.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Apparently she's drying out in a hospital somewhere.’
      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’
      • ‘I am worried that when I perform in front of people, I will dry up.’
      • ‘As BBC producers knew only too well, although he was a great talker, when faced with a microphone, he would 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.’
      • ‘The sole means of income dried up and she stopped going to school.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I think his cash flow may dry up and he won't be able to put his kids through college.’
      • ‘When revenue from albums began to dry up, it was natural for bands to raise concert prices.’
      • ‘My source of free-range eggs dried up last month when Mr Fox made off with our neighbour's hens.’
      • ‘Now, with increased pollution, even that source of income is drying up.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But by the end of 2002 the stream of good news began to dry up as the economic downturn dragged on.’
      • ‘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.’
      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

/drī/