Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
See also: DRY



Etymology 1[edit]

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, Saterland Frisian druuch(dry), West Frisian droech(dry), Dutch droog(dry), Low German dröög(dry), German dröge(dull), Icelandic draugur(a dry log). Related also to German trocken(dry), 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.

Alternative forms[edit]


dry ‎(comparative drier or dryer, superlative driest or dryest)

  1. Free from or lacking moisture.
    This towel's dry. Could you wet it and cover the chicken so it doesn't go dry as it cooks?
    • Addison
      The weather, we agreed, was too dry for the season.
    • Prescott
      Not a dry eye was to be seen in the assembly.
  2. Unable to produce a liquid, as water, (Petrochemistry) oil, or (farming) milk.
    This well is as dry as that cow.
  3. (masonry) Built without or lacking mortar.
    • 1937, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, p. 241:
      ...already the gate was blocked with a wall of squared stones laid dry, but very thick and very high, across the opening.
  4. (chemistry) Anhydrous: free from or lacking water in any state, regardless of the presence of other liquids.
    Dry alcohol is 200 proof.
  5. Free from or lacking alcohol or alcoholic beverages.
    Of course it's a dry house. He was an alcoholic but he's been dry for almost a year now.
  6. (law) Describing an area where sales of alcoholic or strong alcoholic beverages are banned.
    You'll have to drive out of this dry county to find any liquor.
  7. Free from or lacking embellishment or sweetness, particularly:
    • Alexander Pope
      These epistles will become less dry, more susceptible of ornament.
    1. (wine and other alcoholic beverages) Low in sugar; lacking sugar; unsweetened.
      Proper martinis are made with London dry gin and dry vermouth.
    2. (humor) Amusing without being amused.
      Steven Wright has a deadpan delivery, Norm Macdonald has a dry sense of humor, and Oscar Wilde had a dry wit.
    3. Lacking interest, boring.
      A dry lecture may require the professor to bring a watergun in order to keep the students' attention.
    4. (fine arts) Exhibiting precise execution lacking delicate contours or soft transitions of color.
  8. (sciences, somewhat pejorative) Involving computations rather than work with biological or chemical matter.
  • (free from liquid or moisture): wet, moist
  • (abstinent from alcohol): wet
  • (of a scientist or lab: doing computation): wet
Derived terms[edit]


dry ‎(plural drys or dries)

  1. (US) A prohibitionist (of alcoholic beverages).
    • Noah S. Sweat, Jr.
      The drys were as unhappy with the second part of the speech as the wets were with the first half.
  2. (chiefly Australia, with "the") The dry season.
    • 1938, Xavier Herbert, Capricornia, New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1943, Chapter VII, page 91, [1]
      [] one was sodden to the bone and mildewed to the marrow and moved to pray [] for that which formerly he had cursed—the Dry! the good old Dry—when the grasses yellowed, browned, dried to tinder, burst into spontaneous flame— []
  3. (Australia) An area of waterless country.

Etymology 2[edit]

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


dry ‎(third-person singular simple present dries, present participle drying, simple past and past participle dried)

  1. (intransitive) To lose moisture.
    The clothes dried on the line.
  2. (transitive) To remove moisture from.
    Devin dried her eyes with a handkerchief.
  3. (obsolete, intransitive) To be thirsty.
    • c. 1390, William Langland, Piers Plowman, I:
      And drynke whan þow dryest · ac do nouȝt out of resoun.
Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


Alternative forms[edit]


From Proto-Albanian *drūna, from the same root as dru. Cognate to Sanskrit द्रुणा(druṇa, bow), Iranian *drũna, Persian durũna(rainbow)[1].


dry m (indefinite plural dryna, definite singular dryni, definite plural drynat)

  1. kind of lock, bolt

Related terms[edit]


  1. ^ Orel, Vladimir (1998), “dry”, in Albanian Etymological Dictionary, Leiden, Boston, Köln: Brill, page 77

Old English[edit]



Borrowed from a Brythonic language, representing Proto-Brythonic *drɨw, from Proto-Celtic *druwits(druid).


drȳ m

  1. a sorcerer or magician
    Hi woldon forbærnan ðone dry. —Ælfric’s Homilies, volume 1. (‘They would burn the sorceror.’)

Derived terms[edit]