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dry Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a reformer who opposes the use of intoxicating beverages
  2. verb remove the moisture from and make dry
    dry out.
    • dry clothes
    • dry hair
  3. verb become dry or drier
    dry out.
    • The laundry dries in the sun
  4. adjective free from liquid or moisture; lacking natural or normal moisture or depleted of water; or no longer wet
    • dry land
    • dry clothes
    • a dry climate
    • dry splintery boards
    • a dry river bed
    • the paint is dry
  5. adjective satellite humorously sarcastic or mocking
    ironic; ironical; wry.
    • dry humor
    • an ironic remark often conveys an intended meaning obliquely
    • an ironic novel
    • an ironical smile
    • with a wry Scottish wit
  6. adjective lacking moisture or volatile components
    • dry paint
  7. adjective opposed to or prohibiting the production and sale of alcoholic beverages
    • the dry vote led by preachers and bootleggers
    • a dry state
  8. adjective not producing milk
    • a dry cow
  9. adjective (of liquor) having a low residual sugar content because of decomposition of sugar during fermentation
    • a dry white burgundy
    • a dry Bordeaux
  10. adjective without a mucous or watery discharge; a small child with a dry nose"
    • a dry cough
    • that rare thing in the wintertime
  11. adjective satellite not shedding tears
    • dry sobs
    • with dry eyes
  12. adjective satellite lacking interest or stimulation; dull and lifeless
    • a dry book
    • a dry lecture filled with trivial details
    • dull and juiceless as only book knowledge can be when it is unrelated to...life"- John Mason Brown
  13. adjective satellite used of solid substances in contrast with liquid ones
    • dry weight
  14. adjective satellite unproductive especially of the expected results
    • a dry run
    • a mind dry of new ideas
  15. adjective satellite having no adornment or coloration
    • dry facts
    • rattled off the facts in a dry mechanical manner
  16. adjective satellite (of food) eaten without a spread or sauce or other garnish
    • dry toast
    • dry meat
  17. adjective satellite having a large proportion of strong liquor
    • a very dry martini is almost straight gin
  18. adjective satellite lacking warmth or emotional involvement
    • a dry greeting
    • a dry reading of the lines
    • a dry critique
  19. adjective satellite practicing complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages; I happen to be teetotal"
    • he's been dry for ten years
    • no thank you

Dry adjective
OE. drue, druye, drie, AS. dryge; akin to LG. dröge, D. droog, OHG. trucchan, G. trocken, Icel. draugr a dry log. Cf. Drought, Drouth, 3d Drug.
comparative Drier ; superlative Driest
  1. Free from moisture; having little humidity or none; arid; not wet or moist; deficient in the natural or normal supply of moisture, as rain or fluid of any kind; -- said especially: (a) Of the weather: Free from rain or mist.
    The weather, we agreed, was too dry for the season. Addison.
    (b) Of vegetable matter: Free from juices or sap; not succulent; not green; as, dry wood or hay. (c) Of animals: Not giving milk; as, the cow is dry. (d) Of persons: Thirsty; needing drink.
    Give the dry fool drink. Shak
    (e) Of the eyes: Not shedding tears.
    Not a dry eye was to be seen in the assembly. Prescott.
    (f) (Med.) Of certain morbid conditions, in which there is entire or comparative absence of moisture; as, dry gangrene; dry catarrh.
  2. Destitute of that which interests or amuses; barren; unembellished; jejune; plain.
    These epistles will become less dry, more susceptible of ornament. Pope.
  3. Characterized by a quality somewhat severe, grave, or hard; hence, sharp; keen; shrewd; quaint; as, a dry tone or manner; dry wit.
    He was rather a dry, shrewd kind of body. W. Irving.
  4. (Fine Arts) Exhibiting a sharp, frigid preciseness of execution, or the want of a delicate contour in form, and of easy transition in coloring.
Dry transitive verb
AS. drygan; cf. drugian to grow dry. See Dry, a.
imperfect & past participle Dried ; present participle & verbal noun Drying
  1. To make dry; to free from water, or from moisture of any kind, and by any means; to exsiccate; as, to dry the eyes; to dry one's tears; the wind dries the earth; to dry a wet cloth; to dry hay.
Dry intransitive verb
  1. To grow dry; to become free from wetness, moisture, or juice; as, the road dries rapidly.
  2. To evaporate wholly; to be exhaled; -- said of moisture, or a liquid; -- sometimes with up; as, the stream dries, or dries up.
  3. To shrivel or wither; to lose vitality.
    And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. I Kings xiii. 4.

Webster 1913