drought


drought
/drowt/, n.
1. a period of dry weather, esp. a long one that is injurious to crops.
2. an extended shortage: a drought of good writing.
3. Archaic. thirst.
Also, drouth /drowth/.
[bef. 1000; ME; OE drugath, equiv. to drug- (base of dryge DRY) + -ath -TH1; c. D droogte dryness]
Syn. 2. scarcity, lack, want, dearth, paucity, famine.
Pronunciation. DROUGHT and DROUTH, nouns derived from the adjective dry plus a suffix, are spellings that represent two phonetic developments of the same Old English word, and are pronounced /drowt/ and /drowth/ respectively. The latter pronunciation, therefore, is not a mispronunciation of DROUGHT. The now unproductive suffix -th1 and its alternate form -t were formerly used to derive nouns from adjectives or verbs, resulting in such pairs as DROUTH - DROUGHT from dry and highth - height (the former now obsolete) from high.
In American English, DROUGHT with the pronunciation /drowt/ is common everywhere in educated speech, and is the usual printed form.

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Lack or insufficiency of rain for an extended period that severely disturbs the hydrologic cycle in an area.

Droughts involve water shortages, crop damage, streamflow reduction, and depletion of groundwater and soil moisture. They occur when evaporation and transpiration exceed precipitation for a considerable period. Drought is the most serious hazard to agriculture in nearly every part of the world. Efforts have been made to control it by seeding clouds to induce rainfall, but these experiments have had only limited success.

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also spelled  Drouth,  

      lack or insufficiency of rain for an extended period that causes a considerable hydrologic (water) imbalance and, consequently, water shortages, crop damage, streamflow reduction, and depletion of groundwater and soil moisture. It occurs when evaporation and transpiration (the movement of water in the soil through plants into the air) exceed precipitation for a considerable period. Drought is the most serious physical hazard to agriculture in nearly every part of the world. Efforts have been made to control it by seeding clouds to induce rainfall, but these experiments have had only limited success.

      There are four basic kinds of drought:

      1. Permanent drought characterizes the driest climates; the sparse vegetation is adapted to aridity, and agriculture is impossible without continuous irrigation.

      2. Seasonal drought occurs in climates that have well-defined annual rainy and dry seasons; for successful agriculture, planting must be adjusted so that the crops develop during the rainy season.

      3. Unpredictable drought involves an abnormal rainfall failure; it may occur almost anywhere but is most characteristic of humid and subhumid climates. Usually brief and irregular, it often affects only a relatively small area.

      4. Invisible drought can also be recognized: in summer, when high temperatures induce high rates of evaporation and transpiration, even frequent showers may not supply enough water to restore the amount lost; the result is a borderline water deficiency that diminishes crop yields.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Drought — (drout), n. [OE. droght, drougth, dru[yogh][eth], AS. druga[eth], from drugian to dry. See {Dry}, and cf. {Drouth}, which shows the original final sound.] 1. Dryness; want of rain or of water; especially, such dryness of the weather as affects… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • drought|y — «DROW tee», adjective, drought|i|er, drought|i|est. 1. showing or suffering from drought: »a droughty, withered crop. 2. lacking moisture; dry …   Useful english dictionary

  • drought — O.E. drugað, drugoð drought, dryness, desert, from P.Gmc. *drugothaz, from Germanic root *dreug dry (cf high/height) with ith, Germanic suffix for forming abstract nouns from adjectives (see TH (Cf. th)). Drouth was a M.E. variant continued in… …   Etymology dictionary

  • drought — drought; drought·i·ness; …   English syllables

  • drought — index paucity Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • drought — [draut] n [U and C] [: Old English; Origin: drugath; related to dry] a long period of dry weather when there is not enough water for plants and animals to live …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • drought — [ draut ] noun count or uncount a long period of time when there is little or no rain and crops die …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • drought — [n] dryness; shortage of supply aridity, dearth, deficiency, dehydration, desiccation, dry spell, insufficiency, lack, need, parchedness, rainlessness, scarcity, want; concepts 607,646 Ant. monsoon, wetness …   New thesaurus

  • drought — ► NOUN ▪ a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall; a shortage of water. ORIGIN Old English, «dryness» …   English terms dictionary

  • drought — [drout] n. [ME < OE drugoth, dryness < drugian, to dry up; akin to dryge, DRY] 1. a prolonged period of dry weather; lack of rain 2. a prolonged or serious shortage or deficiency 3. Archaic thirst droughty adj. droughtier, droughtiest …   English World dictionary

  • Drought — For other uses, see Drought (disambiguation). Fields outside Benambra, Victoria, Australia suffering from drought conditions. A drought (or drouth [archaic]) is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water… …   Wikipedia


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