Definition of run dry in US English:

run dry


  • 1(of a well or river) cease to flow or have any water.

    • ‘Council chief executive Glenn Snelgrove is urging residents to conserve water to stop the reservoirs from running dry.’
    • ‘From Bombay to Beijing, rivers are running dry or are so polluted they cannot support life.’
    • ‘Sana'a's population has doubled every six years since 1972, but the aquifer on which it depends for water could run dry by 2010, according to the World Bank.’
    • ‘And in a place where the rivers are running dry, and the harvest has been ruined by drought, the specter of starvation is looming ever larger.’
    • ‘And last month, more than half of France's 95 local government regions introduced water rationing as rivers began to run dry in the most serious drought to strike the country for 25 years.’
    • ‘The Environment Agency has conducted similar studies each summer since the 1995 drought that resulted in many reservoirs and rivers across Yorkshire running dry.’
    • ‘It didn't rain for months, and water was rationed as the reservoirs ran dry.’
    • ‘Reservoirs are running dry, unable to meet demands for drinking water and crop irrigation.’
    • ‘Traffic gridlock is commonplace, air pollution levels are soaring and, most alarmingly, the thirst for water means the mighty Colorado River is increasingly running dry.’
    • ‘The phrase about not missing water until your river runs dry has never felt so apt.’
    1. 1.1 (especially of a source of money or information) be completely used up.
      ‘municipal relief funds had long since run dry’
      • ‘But sometimes, even my goodwill supply runs dry.’
      • ‘Back then, blockades of oil refineries led to many petrol stations running dry and massive queues as desperate motorists tried to get a share of what little petrol was available.’
      • ‘On Thursday, Highway Motors in Port Alfred had to turn away several motorists again after unleaded petrol supplies ran dry.’
      • ‘If the President is truly worried about the federal coffers running dry he should stop cutting taxes for us better-off folk.’
      • ‘If this source of finance runs dry, desperate borrowers like Lucent will have no place to turn.’
      • ‘With gas supplies to Ireland from current sources expected to run dry by 2004, the government is anxious for one or more of these projects to get under way.’
      • ‘The government reassures us that cash machines will not run dry, and that supermarkets will have enough supplies between Christmas and the New Year.’
      • ‘Gas stations ran dry in Europe, their supplies blocked by protesters fuming over rising fuel costs.’
      • ‘Extra ale had to be drafted in on Saturday morning for the Campaign for Real Ale's three-day event in the Coronation Hall to make sure supplies did not run dry.’
      • ‘Then reports started to come in to the Evening Press that York petrol stations were running dry.’