dry powder

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dry powder ‎(uncountable)

  1. A powder found in a fire extinguisher that is expelled to smother the fire
  2. (finance) cash (or cash-like securities) kept in reserve in case of need.
    Private equity firms were sitting on more than $1 trillion in dry powder at the end of 2011.
  3. Used other than as an idiom: see dry,‎ powder.