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Meaning of “dry” in the English Dictionary

"dry" in British English

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uk   /draɪ/  us   /draɪ/ (drier, driest)
  • dry adjective (NOT WET)

A2 used to ​describe something that has no ​water or other ​liquid in, on, or around it: I ​hung his ​wettrousers on the ​radiator, but they're not dry ​yet. These ​plantsgrow well in dry ​soil/a dry ​climate. This cake's a ​bit dry - I ​think I ​left it in the ​oven for too ​long.
run dry
If a ​river or other ​area of ​waterruns dry, the ​watergraduallydisappears from it: By this ​time all the ​wells had ​run dry.
C1 Dry ​hair or ​skin does not have enough of the ​naturaloils that make it ​soft and ​smooth: a ​shampoo for dry ​hair
UK Dry ​bread is ​plain, without ​butter, ​jam, etc.: All I was ​offered was a ​piece of dry ​bread and an ​apple!

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  • dry adjective (NO ALCOHOL)

without ​alcoholicdrinks: a dry ​wedding a dry ​bar a dry ​state (= a ​place that does not ​allowalcohol)
  • dry adjective (NOT SWEET)

C1 If ​wine or other ​alcoholicdrinks are dry, they do not ​tastesweet: dry ​cider/​martini/​sherry/​wine On the ​whole, I like dry ​winebetter than ​sweet.
  • dry adjective (HUMOUR)

approving Dry ​humour is very ​funny in a way that is ​clever and not ​obvious: a dry sense of ​humour a dry ​wit
noun [U] uk   /ˈdraɪ.nəs/  us   /ˈdraɪ.nəs/
The ​wine has just enough dryness to ​balanceitsfruitiness. The ​meat was ​juicy with no ​hint of dryness.


uk   /draɪ/  us   /draɪ/
the dry UK
a ​place where the ​conditions are not ​wet, ​especially when ​compared to ​somewhere where the ​conditions are ​wet: You're ​soaked - come into the dry.

dryverb [I or T]

uk   /draɪ/  us   /draɪ/
A2 to ​become dry, or to make something ​become dry: Will this ​paint dry by ​tomorrow? Hang the ​clothes up to dry. The ​fruit is dried in the ​sun.
dry the dishes (UK also dry up (the dishes), UK do the drying (up))
to dry ​plates, ​knives, ​forks, etc. after they have been ​washed

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(Definition of dry from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"dry" in American English

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 us   /drɑɪ/
  • dry adjective (NOT WET)

[-er/-est only] without ​water or ​liquid in, on, or around something: Are the ​clothes dry ​yet?
[-er/-est only] If ​hair or ​skin is dry, it ​lacksnaturaloils: Do you have a ​shampoo for dry ​hair?
[-er/-est only] If the ​weather is dry, there is very little ​water in the ​air and no ​chance of ​rain.
  • dry adjective (NO ALCOHOL)

[not gradable] (of a ​place) not ​permittingalcoholicdrinks to be ​sold
  • dry adjective (NOT INTERESTING)

[-er/-est only] not ​interesting or ​exciting: The ​book is ​packed with ​information but it is a little dry.
  • dry adjective (AMUSING)

[-er/-est only] amusing in a way that is not ​obvious: a dry ​wit

dryverb [I/T]

 us   /drɑɪ/ (present tense dries, present participle drying, past tense and past participle dried)
  • dry verb [I/T] (REMOVE WATER)

to ​become dry, or to ​removewater from something : [I] I can’t go out until my ​hair dries. [T] The woman dried her ​hands on a ​towel and ​returned to the ​table. [I] If you don’t ​keepfoodcovered, it dries out.
(Definition of dry from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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