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dry hole

noun
1.
any well drilled for oil or gas that does not yield enough to be commercially profitable.
Also called duster.
Origin of dry hole
1880-1885
1880-85, Americanism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dry hole
Historical Examples
  • If the well is a dry hole, it does not cost the Indian anything.

    Battling the Clouds Captain Frank Cobb
  • With a nod of assent the youth pushed forward, gained the rock, and found the place where water had once been, a dry hole!

    The Settler and the Savage R.M. Ballantyne
  • Every dry hole gives a greater chance that the next will be full.

    Spinifex and Sand David W Carnegie
  • The shiftless one like himself was a true son of the wilderness and he would be as clever as a fox in finding a warm, dry hole.

    The Keepers of the Trail Joseph A. Altsheler
  • Following the trail, he rode through the cedars to come upon the dry hole where the pool had once been.

  • I feel a great deal better than if I had sunk thirty or forty thousand dollars in a dry hole.

  • Then came the blow-up, and it turned out that his well was just a dry hole in the ground.

  • Sometimes you git a payin' well an' a dry hole only a few hunderd feet apart.

    David Harum Edward Noyes Westcott
  • A dry hole was drilled, the exhaust air from the hollow drill blowing the dust from the hole keeping it clean.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • It was hard work, putting down that well, and up to almost the last moment it promised to be a dry hole.

    The Prairie Wife Arthur Stringer
British Dictionary definitions for dry hole

dry hole

noun
1.
(in the oil industry) a well that is drilled but does not produce oil or gas in commercially worthwhile amounts
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Value for dry

7
6
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