Keep the powder dry

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Keep the powder dry to keep one's energies ready for action
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. cépan, orig. to traffic, hence to store up, keep—ceáp, price.

Usage

In literature:

Keep your powder dry, and trust in Providence, is the motto of the wise.
"The Second Thoughts of An Idle Fellow" by Jerome K. Jerome
Rifles and powder-horns had to be borne by the hour above the soldiers' heads to keep them dry.
"The Old Northwest" by Frederic Austin Ogg
But it was of the kind of security that takes care to keep the eye wakeful and the powder dry.
"The Fashionable Adventures of Joshua Craig" by David Graham Phillips
Mix in a mortar, and keep the powder dry.
"Burroughs' Encyclopaedia of Astounding Facts and Useful Information, 1889" by Barkham Burroughs
We'll crouch against the wall, Ned, and keep our rifles, powder and ourselves as dry as possible.
"The Texan Star" by Joseph A. Altsheler
But Maria came of the stock which believed in trusting the Lord and keeping the powder dry.
"By the Light of the Soul" by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Dusting the part with boracic acid powder not only keeps it dry, but prevents the development of bacteria in the skin secretions.
"Manual of Surgery" by Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles
While wading, the men were obliged to hold their guns and powder-horns above their heads to keep them dry.
"The Beginner's American History" by D. H. Montgomery
So long as the enemy sticks to the wood all we can do is to wait and keep our powder dry.
"In the Field (1914-1915)" by Marcel Dupont
Azophor red P N is also a preparation of diazotised paranitroaniline in the form of a dry powder which keeps well.
"The Dyeing of Cotton Fabrics" by Franklin Beech
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In news:

Mavs' rally cry: Keep the powder dry .
Dehumidification, ductwork ' keep the powder dry ' in AZ.
The Mavs were able to "keep the powder dry" by gaining tons of expiring contracts.
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