a period of dry weather, especially a long one that is injurious to crops.
an extended shortage: a drought of good writing.
Archaic. thirst.
Also, drouth [drouth] .

before 1000; Middle English; Old English drūgath, equivalent to drūg- (base of drȳge dry) + -ath -th1; cognate with Dutch droogte dryness

draught, drought (see pronunciation note at draught).

2. scarcity, lack, want, dearth, paucity, famine.

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] and [drouth] respectively. The latter pronunciation, therefore, is not a mispronunciation of drought. The now unproductive suffix -th 1 and its alternate form -t were formerly used to derive nouns from adjectives or verbs, resulting in such pairs as drouthdrought from dry and highth—height (the former now obsolete) from high.
In American English, drought with the pronunciation [drout] is common everywhere in educated speech, and is the usual printed form.
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World English Dictionary
drought (draʊt)
1.  a prolonged period of scanty rainfall
2.  a prolonged shortage
3.  an archaic or dialect word for thirst Archaic and Scot form: drouth
[Old English drūgoth; related to Dutch droogte; see dry]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

O.E. drugað, from P.Gmc. *drugothaz; related to drugian "dry up, whither" + -ith Gmc. suffix for forming abstract n. from adj. Drouth was a M.E. variant continued in Scot. and northern Eng. dialect.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
drought   (drout)  Pronunciation Key 
A long period of abnormally low rainfall, lasting up to several years.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Drought definition

From the middle of May to about the middle of August the land of Palestine is dry. It is then the "drought of summer" (Gen. 31:40; Ps. 32:4), and the land suffers (Deut. 28:23: Ps. 102:4), vegetation being preserved only by the dews (Hag. 1:11). (See DEW.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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