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See also: Drought


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Alternative forms[edit]

  • drouth (Scotland, Northern England, poetry). The pronunciation with /θ/ properly belongs with this now archaic doublet.


From Middle English droghte, drouȝte, druhhþe, druȝþe, drouȝth, from Old English drūgaþ, equivalent to dry +‎ -th. Cognate with Dutch droogte, Low German Dröögde.



drought (countable and uncountable, plural droughts)

  1. A period of unusually low rainfall, longer and more severe than a dry spell.
    • 2012 January 1, Donald Worster, “A Drier and Hotter Future”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 1, page 70:
      Phoenix and Lubbock are both caught in severe drought, and it is going to get much worse. We may see many such [dust] storms in the decades ahead, along with species extinctions, radical disturbance of ecosystems, and intensified social conflict over land and water. Welcome to the Anthropocene, the epoch when humans have become a major geological and climatic force.
  2. (by extension, informal) A longer than expected term without success, particularly in sport.
    • 2021 March 28, Phil McNulty, “Albania 0-2 England”, in BBC Sport[2]:
      Kane had been going through something of a drought by his own standards. His previous England goal came 500 days ago, in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Kosovo, and his header in Tirana ended a run of 496 minutes without scoring.

Derived terms[edit]