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dry (drī)
adj. dri·er (drīər), dri·est (drīĭst) or dry·er or dry·est
1. Free from liquid or moisture: changed to dry clothes.
a. Having or characterized by little or no rain: a dry climate.
b. Marked by the absence of natural or normal moisture: a dry month.
a. Not under water: dry land.
b. Having all the water or liquid drained away, evaporated, or exhausted: a dry river.
a. No longer yielding liquid, especially milk: a dry cow.
b. Not producing a liquid substance that is normally produced: dry heaves.
c. Not shedding tears: dry sobs.
d. Needing moisture or drink: a dry mouth.
5. No longer wet: The paint is dry.
6. Of or relating to solid rather than liquid substances or commodities: dry weight.
7. Not sweet as a result of the decomposition of sugar during fermentation. Used of wines.
8. Having a large proportion of strong liquor to other ingredients: a dry martini.
9. Eaten or served without butter, gravy, or other garnish: dry toast; dry meat.
10. Having no adornment or coloration; plain: the dry facts.
11. Devoid of bias or personal concern: presented a dry critique.
a. Lacking tenderness, warmth, or involvement; severe: The actor gave a dry reading of the lines.
b. Matter-of-fact or indifferent in manner: rattled off the facts in a dry mechanical tone.
13. Wearisome; dull: a dry lecture filled with trivial details.
14. Humorous in an understated or unemotional way: dry wit.
15. Prohibiting or opposed to the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages: a dry county.
16. Unproductive of the expected results: a mind dry of new ideas.
17. Constructed without mortar or cement: dry masonry.
v. dried (drīd), dry·ing, dries (drīz)
1. To remove the moisture from; make dry: laundry dried by the sun.
2. To preserve (meat or other foods, for example) by extracting the moisture.
To become dry: The sheets dried quickly in the sun.
n. pl. drys
A prohibitionist.
Phrasal Verbs:
dry out Informal
To undergo a cure for alcoholism.
dry up
1. To make or become unproductive, especially to do so gradually.
2. Informal To stop talking. Used especially in the imperative.

[Middle English drie, from Old English drȳge.]

dryly, drily adv.
dryness n.

Synonyms: dry, dehydrate, desiccate, parch
These verbs mean to remove the moisture from: drying the dishes; added water to eggs that were dehydrated; a factory where coconut meat is shredded and desiccated; land parched by the sun. See Also Synonyms at sour.
Antonym: moisten

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.