1. Free from moisture; having little humidity or none; arid; not wet or moist; deficient in the natural or normal supply of moisture, as rain or fluid of any kind; said especially: Of the weather: free from rain or mist. The weather, we agreed, was too dry for the season. (Addison)
Of vegetable matter: free from juices or sap; not succulent; not green; as, dry wood or hay.
Of animals: Not giving milk; as, the cow is dry.
Of persons: Thirsty; needing drink. Give the dry fool drink. (Shak)
Of the eyes: Not shedding tears. ”Not a dry eye was to be seen in the assembly.
(Science: medicine) ” (Prescott) Of certain morbid conditions, in which there is entire or comparative absence of moisture; as, dry gangrene; dry catarrh.
2. Destitute of that which interests or amuses; barren; unembellished; jejune; plain. These epistles will become less dry, more susceptible of ornament. (Pope)
3. Characterised by a quality somewhat severe, grave, or hard; hence, sharp; keen; shrewd; quaint; as, a dry tone or manner; dry wit. He was rather a dry, shrewd kind of body. (W. Irving)
4. Exhibiting a sharp, frigid preciseness of execution, or the want of a delicate contour in form, and of easy transition in colouring.
(Science: medicine) dry area see cupping. Dry dock. See dock. Dry fat. See dry vat (below). Dry light, pure unobstructed light; hence, a clear, impartial view. The scientific man must keep his feelings under stern control, lest they obtrude into his researches, and colour the dry light in which alone science desires to see its objects. (j. C. Shairp) dry masonry. See Masonry. Dry measure, a system of measures of volume for dry or coarse articles, by the bushel, peck, etc. Dry pile, a rent reserved by deed, without a clause of distress. Dry rot, a decay of timber, reducing its fibres to the condition of a dry powdery dust, often accompanied by the presence of a peculiar fungus (Merulius lacrymans), which is sometimes considered the cause of the decay; but it is more probable that the real cause is the decomposition of the wood itself. Called also sap rot, and, in the united states, powder post. Dry stove, a hothouse adapted to preserving the plants of arid climates. Dry vat, a vat, basket, or other receptacle for dry articles. Dry wine, that in which the saccharine matter and fermentation were so exactly balanced, that they have wholly neutralized each other, and no sweetness is perceptible; opposed to sweet wine, in which the saccharine matter is in excess.
Origin: oe. Drue, druye, drie, as. Dryge; akin to LG. Droge, D. Droog, OHG. Trucchan, g. Trocken, Icel. Draugr a dry log. Cf. Drought, Drouth, 3d drug