from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Free from liquid or moisture.
  • adjective Having or characterized by little or no rain.
  • adjective Marked by the absence of natural or normal moisture.
  • adjective Not under water.
  • adjective Having all the water or liquid drained away, evaporated, or exhausted.
  • adjective No longer yielding liquid, especially milk.
  • adjective Not producing a liquid substance that is normally produced.
  • adjective Not shedding tears.
  • adjective Needing moisture or drink.
  • adjective No longer wet.
  • adjective Of or relating to solid rather than liquid substances or commodities.
  • adjective Not sweet as a result of the decomposition of sugar during fermentation. Used of wines.
  • adjective Having a large proportion of strong liquor to other ingredients.
  • adjective Eaten or served without butter, gravy, or other garnish.
  • adjective Having no adornment or coloration; plain.
  • adjective Devoid of bias or personal concern.
  • adjective Lacking tenderness, warmth, or involvement; severe.
  • adjective Matter-of-fact or indifferent in manner.
  • adjective Wearisome; dull.
  • adjective Humorous in an understated or unemotional way.
  • adjective Prohibiting or opposed to the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  • adjective Unproductive of the expected results.
  • adjective Constructed without mortar or cement.
  • intransitive verb To remove the moisture from; make dry.
  • intransitive verb To preserve (meat or other foods, for example) by extracting the moisture.
  • intransitive verb To become dry.
  • noun A prohibitionist.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In pathology, not attended with suppuration, a fluid discharge or exudation, or hemorrhage.
  • noun Dry land: as, to execute a piece of engineering work in the dry (that is, not under water).
  • To make dry; free from water or from moisture of any kind, and by any means, as by wiping, evaporation, exhalation, or drainage; desiccate: as, to dry the eyes; to dry hay; wind dries the earth; to dry a meadow or a swamp.
  • To cause to evaporate or exhale; stop the flow of: as, to dry out the water from a wet garment.
  • To wither; parch.
  • To evaporate completely; stop the flow of: as, the fierce heat dried up all the streams.
  • To lose moisture; become free from moisture.
  • To evaporate; be exhaled; lose fluidity: as, water dries away rapidly; blood dries quickly on exposure to the air.
  • To be wholly evaporated; cease to flow.
  • To wither, as a limb
  • To cease talking; be silent.
  • Without moisture; not moist; absolutely or comparatively free from water or wetness, or from fluid of any kind: as, dry land; dry clothes; dry weather; a dry day; dry wood; dry bones.
  • Specifically
  • In geology and mining, free from the presence or use of water, or distant from water: as, dry diggings; dry separation.
  • Not giving milk: as, a dry cow.
  • Thirsty; craving drink, especially intoxicating drink.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English drie, from Old English drȳge.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English dryġan ("to dry"), from dryġe ("dry")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English drye, drie, dri, drige, dryge, drüȝe, Old English drȳġe ("dry; parched, withered"), from Proto-Germanic *drūgiz, *draugiz (“dry, hard”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰerǵʰ- (“to strengthen; become hard”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰer- (“to hold, support”). Cognate with Scots dry, drey ("dry"), North Frisian drüg, driig, drüüg, dröög, drüch ("dry"), Saterland Frisian druuch ("dry"), West Frisian droech ("dry"), Dutch droog ("dry"), Low German dreuge, drög, drege, dree ("dry"), German trocken ("dry"), Icelandic draugur ("a dry log"). Related also to West Frisian drege ("long-lasting"), Danish drøj ("tough"), Swedish dryg ("lasting, hard"), Icelandic drjúgur ("ample, long"), Latin firmus ("strong, firm, stable, durable"). See also drought, drain, dree.


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  • Dispite the common conception dry is not the opposite of sweet, oenologically speaking.

    December 8, 2006

  • In medicine, refers to a person who is not wet, in the sense that they're not fluid-overloaded, and can also refer to the lungs that don't sound overloaded. "Mr Charles had some trouble breathing, but it wasn't his heart failure, he sounded dry."

    Can also mean that they're actually dehydrated. "Guy came in heart taching away, but he looked dry so I gave him a bolus."

    January 26, 2008