Dry up – English Phrasal Verb – Online English Lessons

1. To dry up is to become dry – to lose water or moisture.

If something such as a lake, river or reservoir dries up the water in it disappears, usually because of very hot weather and not much rain.

Examples of use;

a) News headline: Fish rescued as rivers dry up in drought

b) News headline: Crops dry up as drought drags on in China.

c) We haven’t had any rain for weeks and our garden pond has dried up.

d) The river is drying up.

2. To dry up is to stop being available.

Examples of use:

a) Our community centre will close next week because the money has dried up.

b) News headline: Graduates look overseas as jobs dry up

c) News headline: China’s workforce dries up.

d) My main source of income has dried up.

e) Investment in new building projects has dried up because of the recession.

3. To dry up is to stop speaking because you cannot think of what to say next, especially because you have forgotten what you want to say.

Examples of use:

a) He wants to be a famous actor but he keeps drying up on stage.

b) I was so embarrassed when I dried up in front of a huge audience.

c) I have to make a speech at school and I’m worried I will dry up.

4. Dry up! is something you say to someone to tell them to stop talking. This expression is impolite / rude.

Example of use:

Oh dry up! I’m tired of listening to you wittering on.

5. To dry up dishes and cutlery etc is to dry them with a cloth after they have been washed.

UK English.

Example of use:

Can you help me dry up, please?

dry up
present simple
dry up and dries up
-ing form
drying up
past simple
dried up
past participle
dried up

Can you use dry up in a sentence?

Do the rivers and lakes sometimes dry up where you live?

Image © William Klos