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 [drout] /draʊt/ (Show IPA)
and [drouth] /draʊθ/
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
(the former now obsolete) from high.
In American English, drought with the pronunciation [drout] /draʊt/
is common everywhere in educated speech, and is the usual printed form.