dry
Pronunciation
  • enPR: drī, IPA: /dɹaɪ/, /dʒɹaɪ/
Adjective

dry (comparative dryer, superlative dryest)

  1. Free from or lacking moisture.
    This towel's dry. Could you wet it and cover the chicken so it doesn't go dry as it cooks?
    • {}, Joseph Addison, The Freeloader No. {}
      The weather, […] we […] both agreed, was too dry for the season.
    • Not a dry eye was to be seen in the assembly.
  2. Unable to produce a liquid, as water, (petrochemistry) oil, or (farming) milk.
    This well is as dry as that cow.
  3. (masonry) Built without or lacking mortar.
    • 1937, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, p. 241:
      […] already the gate was blocked with a wall of squared stones laid dry, but very thick and very high, across the opening.
  4. (chemistry) Anhydrous: free from or lacking water in any state, regardless of the presence of other liquids.
    Dry alcohol is 200 proof.
  5. (figurative) Athirst, eager.
    • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene ii], [https://books.google.com/books?id=uNtBAQAAMAAJ&pg=PAProspero}}: […] Confederates / (ſo drie he was for Sway) with King of Naples / To giue him Annuall tribute, doe him homage / Subiect his Coronet, to his Crowne and bend / The Dukedom yet vnbow'd (alas poore Millaine) / To moſt ignoble ſtooping. page Prospero}}: […] Confederates / (ſo drie he was for Sway) with King of Naples / To giue him Annuall tribute, doe him homage / Subiect his Coronet, to his Crowne and bend / The Dukedom yet vnbow'd (alas poore Millaine) / To moſt ignoble ſtooping.]:
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  6. Free from or lacking alcohol or alcoholic beverages.
    Of course it's a dry house. He was an alcoholic but he's been dry for almost a year now.
    • c. 1601, William Shakespeare, Twelfe Night, or What You Will, Act I, Scene v ↗:
      Ol. Go too, y'are a dry foole: Ile no more of you: besides you grow dis-honest.
      Clo. Two faults Madona, that drinke & good counsell wil amend: for giue the dry foole drink, then is the foole not dry...
  7. (law) Describing an area where sales of alcoholic or strong alcoholic beverages are banned.
    You'll have to drive out of this dry county to find any liquor.
  8. Free from or lacking embellishment or sweetness, particularly:
    • 1733, [Alexander Pope], An Essay on Man. […], (please specify ), London: Printed for J[ohn] Wilford, […], OCLC 960856019 ↗:
      {quote-meta/quote
    1. (wine & other alcoholic beverages) Low in sugar; lacking sugar; unsweetened.
      Proper martinis are made with London dry gin and dry vermouth.
    2. (humor) Amusing without showing amusement.
      Steven Wright has a deadpan delivery, Norm Macdonald has a dry sense of humor, and Oscar Wilde had a dry wit.
    3. Lacking interest, boring.
      A dry lecture may require the professor to bring a watergun in order to keep the students' attention.
      • c. 1601, William Shakespeare, Twelfe Night, or What You Will, Act I, Scene v ↗:
        Ol. Go too, y'are a dry foole: Ile no more of you: besides you grow dis-honest.
        Clo. Two faults Madona, that drinke & good counsell wil amend: for giue the dry foole drink, then is the foole not dry […]
    4. (fine arts) Exhibiting precise execution lacking delicate contours or soft transitions of color.
  9. (science, somewhat pejorative) Involving computations rather than work with biological or chemical matter.
  10. (of a sound recording) Free from applied audio effects.
  11. Without a usual complement or consummation; impotent.
    never dry fire a bow; dry humping her girlfriend; making a dry run
    • 1992, Dwight R. Schuh, Bowhunter's Encyclopedia, Stackpole Books (ISBN 9780811724128), page 81:
      When you shoot a bow, the arrow absorbs a high percentage of the energy released by the limbs. If you dry fire a bow (shoot it with no arrow on the string), the bow itself absorbs all the energy, […]
    • 2015, Naoko Takei Moore, Kyle Connaughton, Donabe: Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking, Ten Speed Press (ISBN 9781607747000), page 8:
      Because some recipes require specific techniques such as high-intensity dry heating (heating while the pot is empty or heating with little or no fluid inside), read the manufacturer's instructions to ensure your vessel can handle such cooking […]
    1. Of a bite from an animal: not containing the usual venom.
  12. (Christianity) Of a mass, service, or rite: involving neither consecration nor communion.
Synonyms
  • (free from liquid or moisture) seeSynonyms en
Antonyms
  • (free from liquid or moisture) seeSynonyms en
  • (abstinent from alcohol) wet
  • (of a scientist or lab: doing computation) wet
Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: seco
  • Russian: сухо́й
Translations Noun

dry (plural drys)

  1. The process by which something is dried.
    This towel is still damp: I think it needs another dry.
  2. (US) A prohibitionist (of alcoholic beverages).
    • The drys were as unhappy with the second part of the speech as the wets were with the first half.
  3. (chiefly, Australia, with "the") The dry season.
    • 1938, Xavier Herbert, Capricornia, New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1943, Chapter VII, page 91,
      […] one was sodden to the bone and mildewed to the marrow and moved to pray […] for that which formerly he had cursed—the Dry! the good old Dry—when the grasses yellowed, browned, dried to tinder, burst into spontaneous flame— […]
    • 2006, Alexis Wright, Carpentaria, Giramondo 2012, p. 169:
      [T]he spring-fed river systems. Not the useless little tributary jutting off into a mud hole at the end of the Dry.
  4. (Australia) An area of waterless country.
  5. (British, UK politics) A radical or hard-line Conservative; especially, one who supported the policies of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
    Antonyms: wet
Verb

dry (dries, present participle drying; past and past participle dried)

  1. (intransitive) To lose moisture.
    The clothes dried on the line.
  2. (transitive) To remove moisture from.
    Devin dried her eyes with a handkerchief.
  3. (obsolete, intransitive) To be thirsty.
    • c. 1390, William Langland, Piers Plowman, I:
      And drynke whan þow dryest · ac do nouȝt out of resoun.attention en
  4. (transitive, figurative) To exhaust; to cause to run dry.
Conjugation