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DRY. Used figuratively, it signifies that which produces nothing; as, dry exchange; dry rent; rent seek.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
"I infer it from your loving her better, merely," returned the young man with a little of Miss Emmerson's dryness.
The whole island is covered with wood; but from the dryness of the climate there is no appearance of luxuriance.
We never think of the heartaches, or the sleepless nights, or the hot dryness of our throats, when she said she could never be anything to us but a sister--as if any man wanted more sisters!
"That which is suitable for a legate," returned the stranger, with a good deal of dryness, "is not suitable for a princess."
The old ache was in his throat, the old harsh dryness in mouth and eyes.
"First, that on the above-mentioned Feast of the Assumption, small beer having been served to the novices in the proportion of one quart to each four, the said brother John did drain the pot at one draught to the detriment of brother Paul, brother Porphyry and brother Ambrose, who could scarce eat their none-meat of salted stock-fish on account of their exceeding dryness,"
Not an atom of carbonic acid resisted the potash; and as to the oxygen, Captain Nicholl said "it was of the first quality." The little watery vapor enclosed in the projectile mixing with the air tempered the dryness; and many apartments in London, Paris, or New York, and many theaters, were certainly not in such a healthy condition.
I ventured to remind the good man of my own business also; whereupon, with an expression of, if anything, increased dryness, he again asked me to wait.
"It's only a person who should know for himself that would give me my price," she said with a certain dryness.
In a trial, the partners confirmed that fabrics treated with finely-emulsified HFS reduce friction with skin, alleviating skin dryness and itching.
The benefits of the new technology as compared to either a suction press of a shoe press include the following: Lower energy consumption; higher dryness; improved bulk; better runnability; and smoother operation.
The samples were taken to dryness under nitrogen and redissolved in methanol before analysis.