dry up

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

  1. (intransitive) To become dry (often of weather); to lose water.
    I'll go shopping when it dries up.
    Last summer the lake completely dried up.
  2. (transitive) To cause to become dry.
    The heatwave dried up all the rivers.
  3. (intransitive, transitive) To manually dry dishes.
    I'll dry up if you wash up.
  4. (transitive) To deprive someone of (something vital).
    The bankruptcy rumor dried up his sales.
  5. (intransitive) To cease to exist; to disappear
    • 2008, Adele, First Love
      This love has dried up and stayed behind
    When our money dried up, we had to get proper jobs.
  6. (intransitive) To stop talking; to forget what one was going to say.
    This surprised me so much that I dried up for a moment.
    • 1930, Norman Lindsay, Redheap, Sydney: Ure Smith, published 1965, page 168:
      "Oh, dry up,' said Arnold morosely.

Usage notes[edit]

  • dry out refers to losing excess water, while dry up is used for losing constituent water (desiccate)

Derived terms[edit]