American English

Definition of dry adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (drier, driest)
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    not wet
  1. 1not wet, damp, or sticky; without water or moisture Is my shirt dry yet? Store onions in a cool dry place. I'm afraid this cake has turned out very dry. Her mouth felt as dry as a bone (= completely dry). When the paint is completely dry, apply another coat. It was high summer and the rivers were dry (= had no water in them). see also bone dry opposite wet
  2. little rain
  3. 2with very little rain weeks of hot dry weather the dry season I hope it stays dry for our picnic. Rattlesnakes live in the warmer, drier parts of North America. opposite wet
  4. skin/hair
  5. 3without the natural oils that makes it soft and healthy a shampoo for dry hair
  6. cough
  7. 4that does not produce any phlegm (= the thick liquid that forms in the nose and throat) a dry hacking cough
  8. bread
  9. 5eaten on its own without any butter, etc. Breakfast consisted of dry bread and a cup of coffee.
  10. wine
  11. 6not sweet a crisp, dry white wine a dry sherry This wine is too dry for me. opposite sweet
  12. humor
  13. 7(approving) amusing but expressed in a quiet way that is not obvious, often using irony He was a man of few words with a dry sense of humor.
  14. without emotion
  15. 8not showing emotion a dry voice
  16. boring
  17. 9not interesting Government reports tend to make dry reading.
  18. without alcohol
  19. 10without alcohol; where it is illegal to buy, sell, or drink alcohol The state was dry on Sundays. a dry county/state see also dryly
    noun [uncountable]
  21. Idioms
    bleed somebody dry (disapproving)
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    to take away all someone's money The big corporations are bleeding some of these small countries dry.
      high and dry
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    1. 1(of a boat, etc.) in a position out of the water Their yacht was left high and dry on a sandbank.
    2. 2in a difficult situation, without help or money
    keep your powder dry (old-fashioned)
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    to remain ready for a possible emergency
    milk/suck somebody/something dry
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    to get from someone or something all the money, help, information, etc. they have, usually giving nothing in return By earning millions from racing and giving pennies back, the bookmakers are sucking the sport dry.
    not a dry eye in the house (humorous)
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    used to say that everyone was very emotional about something There wasn't a dry eye in the house when they announced their engagement.
    to stop supplying water; to be all used so that none is left The wells in most villages in the region have run dry. Vaccine supplies started to run dry as the flu outbreak reached epidemic proportions. Native resources of scientific talent and ingenuity have not run dry.
    squeeze somebody dry
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    to get as much money, information, etc. out of someone as you can
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: dry