What is the correct use of the word dryly in the following sentence?

You said that very dryly.

Is dryly correct in this context?

  • 1
    The question title refers to dry as an adjective, but then your question body is about dryly, which is an adverb. Just a remark. :-)
    – CesarGon
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 22:45
  • You might also have said it very drolly, and to be honest I think a lot of people wouldn't hear and/or understand the difference. Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 22:46
  • I see you edited the title already, but this isn't actually the word dry as an adverb, it is dryly as an adverb. Some adjectives do get used as adverbs informally, like "he got out of there quick"; this is different obviously.
    – Kosmonaut
    Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 2:16
  • @Kosmonaut Yes I realised my mistake with the title after CesarGon mentioned it. I believe Jimi Oke was good enough to edit it
    – Chris
    Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 2:27
  • @Chris: CesarGon's comment was about the use of the word "adverb" vs. "adjective". I was talking about "dry" vs. "dryly". Twice you mention "dry", but you are asking about "dryly". I guess I'll fix it myself.
    – Kosmonaut
    Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 16:05

2 Answers 2


My Dictionary says:

dryly |ˈdrīlē| (also drily) adverb
1 in a matter-of-fact or ironically humorous way : “How very observant,” he said dryly.
2 in a dry way or condition : Evans swallowed dryly.

I also found it can be a synonym of "being cold" and not just "ironic" and "sarcastic".


Yes, that is correct. 'Dryly' is the adverbial form of the adjective 'dry', and the adverb is called for in this case, since it modifies the verb.

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