Meaning of keep one's powder dry in English:

keep one's powder dry


  • Remain cautious and ready for a possible emergency.

    ‘With two teams already declared as starters in Lismore, one of which is a Country Labor team, Richmond Valley candidates are so far keeping their powder dry as to possible allegiances.’
    • ‘He plans to keep his powder dry for the flurry of deals likely to emerge in the sector.’
    • ‘Voters just kept their powder dry until someone viewed as credible came along.’
    • ‘In the opening Bach, they kept their powder dry.’
    • ‘And what's all this about keeping your powder dry?’
    • ‘Even though his side have won three of their last four matches against the French, he is under no illusions: ‘They have been quietly keeping their powder dry.’’
    • ‘The feedback I'm getting from most sources around the traps is that they are spending a lot of effort on the sort of counter attack, and they're keeping their powder dry for the moment, letting National fire shots essentially into thin air.’
    • ‘But shareholders were initially keeping their powder dry as they waited to see if the world's largest brewer would open up with a counter bid and raise the bidding stakes.’
    • ‘Nobody seems to know who the developers are - I suspect they are keeping their powder dry as they know what a prime site it is being 15 minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from Manchester.’
    • ‘They're keeping their powder dry for nominee number two.’