Drier or Dryer – Explain These Two Words

There are many words in our everyday language that sound identical but have different meanings. We call these words homophones. The words dryer and drier are no different. Although these words have similar spellings & pronunciations, their meanings are totally different. In this post, we’ll help you choose correctly between drier or dryer in your writing.

Which Is Correct: Drier or Dryer?

woman thinking about whether is it dryer or drier, with a green background

In the English language, there are many words, like ware vs wear, that look and sound the same but are very different. This is why understanding vocabulary and grammar rules are so important! Both dryer & drier can be used correctly in the right context.

  • Drier – An adjective that is usually used to compare how wet two things are. It’s the perfect adjective for describing everything from clothes that have been hung out to dry to weather that is sunny and bright.
  • Dryer – A noun that can refer to various devices which can make things less wet. For example, “Mary uses her hair dryer to dry off after a shower.” It is incorrect to say hair drier.

Takeaway: Drier is a comparative adjective & dryer is a noun that refers to common appliances.

How To Use Dryer

Just like the words association or organization, a dryer is a noun that refers to a device that is used to dry things. Most dryers are simple devices that are engineered to remove moisture from something.

When you have to choose between drier vs dryer, just remember that dryer is a noun. It is an actual thing. Here are some examples of how to use the word dryer.

  1. I can’t believe I have to put my clothes in the dryer again. I just did laundry yesterday!
  2. The dryer is one of mankind’s greatest inventions. Who wants to sit around and wait for their clothes to air dry?
  3. My power bill went up last month and I know it’s because my daughter has been running her hair dryer nonstop.

How To use Drier

The word drier is an adjective that is normally used to compare the wetness of two things. More specifically, drier is a comparative adjective, which is like a descriptive adjective, which is used to make a descriptive comparison of two nouns. Adjectives like drier are very versatile. Some adjectives can even be made into adverbs with a small change.

Here are some common examples of how two use the word drier.

  1. In drier climates, like California, house fires have always been more common because they have less moisture in the air.
  2. The weather has been really nice lately, but I think we might get some drier air soon.
  3. I am really hoping for drier weather soon. It has been too wet out to go golfing!

Memory Trick

There are so many words, like envision & invision, that sound exactly the same but have different meanings. Drier & dry are very hard to differentiate, especially in spoken conversation.

Here is a memory trick I use to remember the difference between dryer vs drier.

  • Remember that a drying machine makes clothes more dry! The base root dry is present in both words.
  • Another trick is to remember that both drier & adjective have the letter -I in it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is more dry dryer or drier?

It is grammatically correct to say drier. For example, you might say that a certain animal lives in a drier climate than another animal. If you are referring to a device that makes things more dry (i.e. clothes dryer or hair dryer), then dryer is the correct word.

Is the word drier correct?

Drier is an adjective that means less wet. If something is dry, it has very little or no moisture. Many people confuse the words drier and dryer in their writing. However, the word dryer is a noun that refers to the common household appliance.

What are the 3 types of dryers?

There are three main types of dryers on the market: vented, condenser, and heat pump. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Vented dryers are the most common type. They work by circulating hot air through a drum that contains the wet clothes. Condenser dryers work in a similar way to vented dryers, but instead of venting the water outside, they condense it into a tank that can be emptied after each load. Heat pump dryers are the most energy-efficient type of dryer on the market.

The Bottom Line

Now you are a master of the words dryer & drier. Although both words are variations of the root word dry, they have different meanings. If you are referring to an appliance that removes water, use ‘dryer’. If you are referring to a comparative adjective describing how wet something is, use ‘drier’. Tools like ProWritingAid and Grammarly software can be very useful to new writers trying to improve their word choice!