Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Arid'
- lacking sufficient water or rainfall; "an arid climate"; "a waterless well"; "miles of waterless country to cross" [syn: waterless]
- lacking vitality or spirit; lifeless; "a technically perfect but arid performance of the sonata"; "a desiccate romance"; "a prissy and emotionless creature...settles into a mold of desiccated snobbery"-C.J.Rolo [syn: desiccate, desiccated]
- Arid \Ar"id\, a. [L. aridus, fr. arere to be dry: cf. F. aride.]
Exhausted of moisture; parched with heat; dry; barren. ``An
arid waste.'' --Thomson.
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Arid'
A region is said to be arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or even preventing the growth and development of plant and animal life. As a result, environments subject to arid climates tend to lack vegetation and are called xeric or desertic.
The expression 'available water' refers to water in the soil in excess to the wilting point. The air over a hot desert may actually contain substantial amounts of water vapor but that water may not be generally accessible to plants, except for very specialized organisms (such as some species of lichen). 'Lack of water' refers to use by plants. The water that is actually present in the environment may be sufficient for some species or usages (such as climax vegetation), and grossly insufficient for others. Aridity, the characteristic nature of an arid climate, may thus depend on the use of the land. Regards to the presence of life, what is more important than the degree of rainfall is the fraction of precipitation that is not quickly lost through evaporation or runoff. Attempts to quantitatively describe the degree of aridity of a place has often led to the development of aridity indexes. There is no universal agreement on the precise boundaries between classes such as 'hyper-arid', 'arid', 'semi-arid', etc.[See more about Arid at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]
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