keep (one's) powder dry

(redirected from keep their powder dry)

keep (one's) powder dry

To be prepared to act with little advance notice. The phrase refers to gunpowder, which needs to be kept dry in order to work properly. I know this job opportunity didn't work out, but keep your powder dry for the next one that comes along.
See also: dry, keep, powder

keep one's powder dry

Stay alert, be careful, as in Go ahead and take on the opposition, but keep your powder dry. This colloquial expression, which originally alluded to keeping gunpowder dry so that it would ignite, has been used figuratively since the 1800s but today is less common than take care.
See also: dry, keep, powder

keep your powder dry

If you keep your powder dry, you remain ready to take action if necessary. He must keep his powder dry for the really important issues. Note: The powder referred to here is gunpowder. The expression comes from a story about the English leader Oliver Cromwell. He is said to have ended a speech to his soldiers, who were about to cross a river and go into battle, by saying: `Put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry.'
See also: dry, keep, powder

keep your powder dry

be ready for action; remain alert for a possible emergency.
When his troops were about to cross a river, the English statesman and general Oliver Cromwell ( 1599–1658 ) is said to have exorted them: ‘Put your trust in God; but mind to keep your powder dry’. The powder referred to is gunpowder.
1998 Independent Instead of keeping its powder dry for the important things, New Labour's political fate is being inextricably bound up with events over which mere politicians can have no control.
See also: dry, keep, powder

keep your ˈpowder dry

(old-fashioned) remain ready for a possible emergency: The bank is not cutting interest rates at the moment, preferring to keep its powder dry in case it’s forced to cut them in the future.This comes from advice given by Oliver Cromwell to his troops when they were crossing a river before battle. Powder here refers to the gunpowder used to fire bullets.
See also: dry, keep, powder

keep (one's) powder dry

To be ready for a challenge with little warning.
See also: dry, keep, powder
References in periodicals archive ?
The Ayrshire side are concerned at the unfairness of being sent to Ibrox but will keep their powder dry until the placings are finalised.
Fans always want new signings, but I think Everton were absolutely right to keep their powder dry on this occasion.
UNITED supporters with tickets to see Jason Manford's current tour are advised to keep their powder dry.
It may be wise for punters to keep their powder dry for the weekend action.
That had led to some speculation Stour would keep their powder dry and send an experimental line-up to the capital.
WARWICKSHIRE will keep their powder dry in the overseas market this winter until they know how successful they have been in recruiting targets from domestic cricket.
He also called for support to replace the Central Library, adding: "Those who consider that buildings such as the library and the NatWest Tower are suitable for consideration for listing would do well to keep their powder dry for more important battles that may need to be fought to preserve Birmingham's important architectural heritage.
KEMPTON punters able to keep their powder dry until the lucky last should reap the reward on Tuesday.
So word that Clinton was sending out feelers to New Hampshire supporters to tell them to keep their powder dry was more than enough of a signal to lure most of the old Friends of Bill into the daylight after a couple of years of lying dormant as they awaited their spin-meistering orders.
But they have promised to keep their powder dry for the club's AGM later in the year when they intend to quiz chairman Doug Ellis once more on the club's future.
Those looking for a better value bet on the opening day of the May meeting are advised to keep their powder dry until the last race on the card, the 10-furlong handicap for three-year-olds.
Punters will have to keep their powder dry as they face a bumper time next Saturday with top-class racing at no less than four venues.
SHOWERS are forecast for the Friends Life T20 finals day at Edgbaston today and spread punters are advised to keep their powder dry until the pitch and overhead conditions can be fully assessed, writes James Milton.
STOURBRDIGE will resist the temptation to keep their powder dry at championselect Esher tomorrow and instead field a full-strength side.
It could also have a knock-on effect for players who may find themselves without clubs and contracts if the existing National One sides decide to keep their powder dry