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

  • adj. Free from liquid or moisture: changed to dry clothes.
  • adj. Having or characterized by little or no rain: a dry climate.
  • adj. Marked by the absence of natural or normal moisture: a dry month.
  • adj. Not under water: dry land.
  • adj. Having all the water or liquid drained away, evaporated, or exhausted: a dry river.
  • adj. No longer yielding liquid, especially milk: a dry cow.
  • adj. Lacking a mucous or watery discharge: a dry cough.
  • adj. Not shedding tears: dry sobs.
  • adj. Needing or desiring drink; thirsty: a dry mouth.
  • adj. No longer wet: The paint is dry.
  • adj. Of or relating to solid rather than liquid substances or commodities: dry weight.
  • adj. Not sweet as a result of the decomposition of sugar during fermentation. Used of wines.
  • adj. Having a large proportion of strong liquor to other ingredients: a dry martini.
  • adj. Eaten or served without butter, gravy, or other garnish: dry toast; dry meat.
  • adj. Having no adornment or coloration; plain: the dry facts.
  • adj. Devoid of bias or personal concern: presented a dry critique.
  • adj. Lacking tenderness, warmth, or involvement; severe: The actor gave a dry reading of the lines.
  • adj. Matter-of-fact or indifferent in manner: rattled off the facts in a dry mechanical tone.
  • adj. Wearisome; dull: a dry lecture filled with trivial details.
  • adj. Humorous or sarcastic in a shrewd, impersonal way: dry wit.
  • adj. Prohibiting or opposed to the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages: a dry county.
  • adj. Unproductive of the expected results: a mind dry of new ideas.
  • adj. Constructed without mortar or cement: dry masonry.
  • transitive v. To remove the moisture from; make dry: laundry dried by the sun.
  • transitive v. To preserve (meat or other foods, for example) by extracting the moisture.
  • intransitive v. To become dry: The sheets dried quickly in the sun.
  • n. Informal A prohibitionist.
  • dry out Informal To undergo a cure for alcoholism.
  • dry up To make or become unproductive, especially to do so gradually.
  • dry up Informal To stop talking.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Free from liquid or moisture.
  • adj. Free of water in any state; anhydrous
  • adj. Lacking sugar or low in sugar; not sweet.
  • adj. Maintaining temperance; void or abstinent from alcoholic beverages.
  • adj. Subtly humorous, yet without mirth.
  • adj. Not working with chemical or biological matter, but, rather, doing computations.
  • adj. Built without mortar; dry-stone.
  • v. To lose moisture.
  • v. To remove moisture from.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. 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.
  • adj. Of vegetable matter: Free from juices or sap; not succulent; not green.
  • adj. Of animals: Not giving milk.
  • adj. Of persons: Thirsty; needing drink.
  • adj. Of the eyes: Not shedding tears.
  • adj. Of certain morbid conditions, in which there is entire or comparative absence of moisture; as, dry gangrene; dry catarrh.
  • adj. Destitute of that which interests or amuses; barren; unembellished; jejune; plain.
  • adj. Characterized by a quality somewhat severe, grave, or hard; hence, sharp; keen; shrewd; quaint
  • adj. Exhibiting a sharp, frigid preciseness of execution, or the want of a delicate contour in form, and of easy transition in coloring.
  • intransitive v. To grow dry; to become free from wetness, moisture, or juice.
  • intransitive v. To evaporate wholly; to be exhaled; -- said of moisture, or a liquid; -- sometimes with up.
  • intransitive v. To shrivel or wither; to lose vitality.
  • transitive v. To make dry; to free from water, or from moisture of any kind, and by any means; to exsiccate

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • Barren; jejune; destitute of interest; incapable of awakening emotion: as, a dry style; a dry subject; a dry discussion.
  • Severe; hard: as, a dry blow.
  • Lacking in cordiality; cold: as, his answer was very short and dry.
  • Humorous or sarcastic, apparently without intention; slily witty or caustic: as, a dry remark or repartee.
  • In painting, noting a hardness or formal stiffness of outline, or a want of mellowness and harmony in color; frigidly precise; harsh.
  • In sculpture, lacking or void of luxuriousness or tenderness in form.
  • Free from sweetness and fruity flavor: said of wines and, by extension, of brandy and the like.
  • In metallurgy, noting a peculiar condition of a metal undergoing metallurgic treatment.
  • In American political slang, of or belonging to the Prohibition party; in favor of or adopting prohibition of the sale or use of intoxicating liquors: opposed to wet: as, a dry town, county, or State.
  • n. A place where things are dried; a drying-house.
  • n. In American political slang, a member of the Prohibition party.
  • n. In masonry, a fissure in a stone, intersecting it at various angles to its bed and rendering it unfit to support a load.
  • 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.
  • In pathology, not attended with suppuration, a fluid discharge or exudation, or hemorrhage.
  • n. Dry land: as, to execute a piece of engineering work in the dry (that is, not under water).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. free from liquid or moisture; lacking natural or normal moisture or depleted of water; or no longer wet
  • v. remove the moisture from and make dry
  • adj. (of food) eaten without a spread or sauce or other garnish
  • n. a reformer who opposes the use of intoxicating beverages
  • v. become dry or drier
  • adj. (of liquor) having a low residual sugar content because of decomposition of sugar during fermentation
  • adj. lacking interest or stimulation; dull and lifeless
  • adj. not producing milk
  • adj. lacking moisture or volatile components
  • adj. not shedding tears
  • adj. without a mucous or watery discharge
  • adj. having no adornment or coloration
  • adj. practicing complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages
  • adj. used of solid substances in contrast with liquid ones
  • adj. lacking warmth or emotional involvement
  • adj. humorously sarcastic or mocking
  • adj. opposed to or prohibiting the production and sale of alcoholic beverages
  • adj. having a large proportion of strong liquor
  • adj. unproductive especially of the expected results


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 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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



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  • 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

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

    December 8, 2006