(drier; also dryer; driest; also dryest)
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English drȳge; akin to Old High German truckan dry, Old English drēahnian to drain
Date: before 12th century
a. free or relatively free from a liquid and especially water
b. not being in or under water <dry land> c. lacking precipitation or humidity <a dry climate> 2. a. characterized by exhaustion of a supply of liquid <a dry well> b. devoid of running water <a dry ravine> c. devoid of natural moisture <my throat was dry> d. no longer sticky or damp <the paint is dry> e. not giving milk <a dry cow> f. lacking freshness ; stale g. anhydrous 3. a. marked by the absence or scantiness of secretions <a dry cough> b. not shedding or accompanied by tears <a dry sob> 4. obsolete involving no bloodshed or drowning <I would fain die a dry death — Shakespeare> 5. a. marked by the absence of alcoholic beverages <a dry party> b. prohibiting the manufacture or distribution of alcoholic beverages <a dry county> 6. served or eaten without butter or margarine <dry toast> 7. a. lacking sweetness ; sec <dry champagne> b. having all or most sugar fermented to alcohol <a dry wine> <dry beer> 8. a. solid as opposed to liquid <dry groceries> b. reduced to powder or flakes ; dehydrated <dry milk> 9. functioning without lubrication <a dry clutch> 10. of natural gas containing no recoverable hydrocarbon (as gasoline) 11. requiring no liquid in preparation or operation <a dry photocopying process> 12. a. not showing or communicating warmth, enthusiasm, or tender feeling ; severe <a dry style of painting> b. wearisome, uninteresting <dry passages of description> c. lacking embellishment ; plain <the dry facts> 13. a. not yielding what is expected or desired ; unproductive <a writer going through a dry spell> b. having no personal bias or emotional concern <the dry light of reason> c. reserved, aloof 14. marked by matter-of-fact, ironic, or terse manner of expression <a dry wit> 15. lacking smooth sound qualities <a dry rasping voice> 16. being a dry run <a dry rehearsal> • dryish adjective • drily or dryly adverb • dryness noun II. verb (dried; drying) Date: before 12th century transitive verb to make dry intransitive verb to become dry • dryable adjective III. noun (plural drys) Date: 13th century 1. the condition of being dry ; dryness 2. something dry; especially a dry place 3. prohibitionist
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.