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A practice session or test designed to identify and correct possible problems. Let's do a couple dry runs of your speech so you feel totally comfortable with it for tomorrow's ceremony. The theater group did a dry run of the play to iron out any technical problems before opening night.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Fig. an attempt; a practice or rehearsal. We had better have a dry run for the official ceremony tomorrow. The children will need another dry run before their procession in the pageant.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
A trial exercise or rehearsal, as in Regard this as a dry run for tonight's ceremony. This term, using dry in the sense of "unproductive," was at first employed mainly in the military for simulated bombings in which no bombs were dropped. [c. 1940]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
a dry runor
a test run
A dry run or a test run is something that you do to practise before you do it at a more important time. We'll have a dry run at getting you in and out of the clothes quickly. More than 10,000 people were expected and council chiefs said it would be a dry run for the Olympic celebrations.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
A rehearsal or trial exercise. The term originated during World War II, when it was used for a practice bombing flight in which no bombs were actually dropped. After the war it was extended to numerous civilian undertakings, such as “Most families regard the wedding rehearsal dinner as a dry run.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer