keep your powder dry


Also found in: Acronyms.

keep (one's) powder dry

To be prepared to act with little advance notice. 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 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
References in periodicals archive ?
I do not normally agree with those who say you should keep your powder dry at the beginning of the Flat season but the saying rang true that day Thought for the week Gazing out over Kempton with the old Jubilee course in view, I could not help wondering why there is no turf Flat racing there any more
The movie is moderately entertaining but if you're after outrageous characters with tremendous shock value, keep your powder dry for Howard Stern's Private Parts.
He is still a big baby and has greater potential to improve than St Nicholas, but whether it is enough, time will tell, so keep your powder dry.
However the game is harder to call than the prices suggest, so it may pay to keep your powder dry for the weekend's Super League Murrayfield Magic extravaganza.
But keep your powder dry for tomorrow night's Ricky Hatton v Paulie Malignaggi in Las Vegas.
Better to keep your powder dry and wait for the final couple of fences, because if he still has company he might just be worried out of it.