I. dry 1 S2 W2 /draɪ/ BrE AmE adjective ( comparative drier , superlative driest )
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: dryge ]
1 . NOT WET without water or liquid inside or on the surface OPP wet :
I need to change into some dry clothes.
Make sure that the surface is clean and dry before you start to paint.
You should store disks in a cool, dry place.
shake/rub/wipe etc something dry
Jean rubbed her hair dry.
The path is dry as a bone (=very dry) .
⇨ ↑ bone dry
2 . WEATHER having very little rain or ↑ moisture OPP wet ⇨ arid :
The weather was hot and dry.
Eastern areas should stay dry tomorrow.
the dry season
These plants do not grow well in dry conditions (=when there is not much rain) .
a prolonged dry spell (=period)
3 . dry mouth/skin/lips/hair etc without enough of the liquid or oil that is normally in your mouth, skin etc ⇨ parched :
His heart was pounding and his mouth was dry.
Mary has dry, sensitive skin.
a shampoo for dry hair
She licked her dry lips.
4 . run/go dry if a lake, river etc runs dry, all the water gradually disappears, especially because there has been no rain:
The river ran dry last summer.
5 . HUMOUR someone with a dry sense of humour says funny and clever things while seeming to be serious:
He had a delightfully dry sense of humour.
6 . BORING boring, very serious, and without humour:
In schools, science is often presented in a dry and uninteresting manner.
a dry debate on policies
7 . dry cough a cough which does not produce any ↑ phlegm
8 . dry wine/sherry etc wine etc that is not sweet:
a glass of dry white wine
9 . WITHOUT ALCOHOL not drinking alcohol, or not allowing any alcohol to be sold:
Paula had been dry for a year before she started drinking again.
Kuwait’s a dry country.
10 . VOICE showing no emotion when you speak:
‘Good evening gentlemen,’ he said, in a dry voice.
11 . dry bread/toast bread etc eaten on its own without anything such as butter or ↑ jam spread on it
12 . THIRSTY informal thirsty
13 . not a dry eye in the house used to say that everyone was crying because something was very sad – often used humorously
—dryness noun [uncountable]
⇨ ↑ drip-dry , ↑ dry rot , ⇨ home and dry at ↑ home 2 (6), ⇨ leave somebody high and dry at ↑ high 2 (5), ⇨ ↑ dryly
• • •
▪ dry grass
There had been no rain and the grass was very dry.
▪ dry clothes
I had no dry clothes to change into.
▪ dry land (=not the sea)
It was good to get off the ship onto dry land again.
▪ dry ingredients (=the things in a recipe that are not liquid)
Add the eggs and milk to the dry ingredients.
▪ keep dry
We managed to keep dry inside an old farm building.
▪ get dry (=become dry)
Come inside and get dry.
▪ shake/rub/wipe etc something dry
He wiped his hands dry with a handkerchief.
▪ towel something dry (=use a towel to dry something)
Towel your hair dry before using a hairdryer.
▪ dry as a bone/bone dry (=completely dry)
These plants need some water – they’re dry as a bone.
• • •
▪ dry having very little moisture, or no longer wet:
How do plants survive in hot dry conditions?
My mouth feels dry.
The clothes should be dry.
The ground was bone dry (=completely dry) .
▪ parched completely dry – used about land, or about someone’s lips, throat, skin etc:
The earth was so parched that there were huge cracks in it.
▪ arid extremely dry because of lack or rain and therefore difficult for growing crops:
the arid landscape of the Danakil desert
an arid mountain region
II. dry 2 S2 W3 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle dried , present participle drying , third person singular dries ) [intransitive and transitive]
1 . to make something dry, or to become dry:
Mrs Brown hung the washing on the line to dry.
He was drying his hair with a towel.
Mary dried her hands.
Leave the first coat of paint to dry before adding another.
She stood up and dried her eyes (=wiped away her tears) .
He quickly dried himself on the thin towel.
2 . ( also dry up British English ) to rub plates, dishes etc dry with a cloth after they have been washed:
You wash and I’ll dry.
Shall I dry up these glasses?
⇨ ↑ cut and dried , ↑ dried
dry off phrasal verb
to become dry or to make something dry, especially on the surface:
We swam in the sea, then stretched out on the sand to dry off.
dry something ↔ off
He dried the camera off, hoping it would still work.
dry out phrasal verb
1 . to become completely dry or to make something completely dry, especially after it has been very wet:
In summer, water the plants regularly and never let the soil dry out.
dry something ↔ out
The kitchen was flooded and it took ages to dry it out.
2 . dry (somebody) out to stop drinking alcohol after you have become an ↑ alcoholic , or to make someone do this:
He’s been drying out at a private clinic.
The hospital dried Michael out and sent him home.
dry up phrasal verb
1 . COME TO AN END if a supply of something dries up, it comes to an end and no more is available:
Foreign investment may dry up.
The work soon dried up.
2 . RIVER/LAKE ETC if something such as a river dries up, the water in it disappears:
Across central and west Texas, waterholes and wells have dried up.
dry something ↔ up
Taking too much water for household use is drying up the river.
3 . STOP TALKING if someone dries up, they stop talking:
‘It was -’ She dried up again.
Everyone became embarrassed and conversation dried up.
4 . PLATES/DISHES ETC British English to rub plates, dishes etc dry with a cloth after they have been washed
dry something ↔ up
I’ll just dry up these mugs and we can have a coffee.