Etymology
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dry rot (n.)

"fungal decay in timber," by 1779, from dry (adj.) + rot (n.). Figurative sense of "concealed or unsuspected inward degeneration" is by 1821.

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dry (adj.)

Middle English drie "without moisture, comparatively free from water or fluid," from Old English dryge, from Proto-Germanic *draugiz (source also of Middle Low German dröge, Middle Dutch druge, Dutch droog, Old High German trucchon, German trocken, Old Norse draugr), from Germanic root *dreug- "dry."

Meaning "barren" is mid-14c. Of persons, "showing no emotion," c. 1200; of humor or jests, "without show of pleasantry, caustic, sarcastic" early 15c. (implied in dryly). Sense of "uninteresting, tedious" is from 1620s. Of wines, brandy, etc., "free from sweetness or fruity flavor," 1700. Of places prohibiting alcoholic drink, 1870 (dry feast, one at which no liquor is served, is from late 15c.); colloquial dry (n.) "prohibitionist" is by 1888, American English political slang.

Dry goods (1650s) were those dispensed in dry, not liquid, measure. Dry land (that not under the sea) is from early 13c. Dry-nurse "nurse who attends and feeds a child but does not suckle it" is from 1590s. Dry run "rehearsal" is by 1941. Dry ice "solid carbon dioxide" is by 1925.

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dry (v.)

Middle English drien, from Old English drygan, "make dry, free from water or moisture of any kind," also intransitive, "lose moisture," cognate with Dutch droogen, Low German drügen, from the source of dry (adj.). Related: Dried; drying. Of liquids, "to evaporate," early 14c. Meaning "to wipe (dishes, etc.) dry after washing up" is by 1935. Dry out in the drug addiction sense is from 1967. Dry up "stop talking" is by 1853.

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rot (n.)

early 14c., "decay, corruption, putrefaction," from rot (v.) or of Scandinavian origin (compare Icelandic rot, Swedish röta, Danish røde "decay, putrefaction"), or both, in any case from the root of the verb. From c. 1400 as the name of a disease in sheep, also generally, "condition of rottenness in a plant or animal, process or state of being rotten." Slang sense of "rubbish, trash" is from 1848.

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rot (v.)

Middle English roten, from Old English rotian, of animal substances, "to decay, putrefy, undergo natural decomposition" (intransitive), also of vegetable matter," from Proto-Germanic *rutjan (source also of Old Saxon roton, Old Norse rotna, Old Frisian rotia, Middle Dutch roten, Dutch rotten, Old High German rozzen "to rot," German rößen "to steep flax"), from stem *rut-. Related: Rotted; rotting.

By c. 1200 as "fester or decay morally, become morally corrupt." Transitive sense of "cause decomposition in" is from late 14c. To rot in prison (mid-14c.) suggests wasting disease.

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dry-clean (v.)

"to clean clothes or textiles without using water," 1817; see dry (adj.) + clean (v.). Related: Dry-cleaning.

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blow-dry (v.)
1971, of hair; see blow (v.1) + dry (v.). Related: Blow-dried; blow-drying.
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wizen (v.)

Old English wisnian, weosnian "to wither, dry up, waste away," from Proto-Germanic *wisnon (source also of Old Norse visna "to wither," Old High German wesanen "to dry up, shrivel, wither;" German verwesen "to decay, rot"). Related: Wizened.

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rotgut (n.)

also rot-gut, "unwholesome liquor; cheap, adulterated whiskey," 1630s, from rot (v.) + gut (n.).

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siccative (adj.)
1540s, from Late Latin siccativus "drying, siccative," from Latin siccatus, past participle of siccare "to dry, make dry; dry up," from siccus "dry, thirsty; without rain," from PIE root *seikw- "to flow out" (source also of Avestan hiku- "dry," Greek iskhnos "dry, withered," Lithuanian seklus "shallow," Middle Irish sesc "dry," Sanskrit sincati "makes dry"). The noun is first recorded 1825.
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