Dry powder means cash or near-cash kept on hand by an organisation to meet future financial obligations or other expenditure.
2. Mergers & acquisitions (M&A).
In the context of M&A, dry powder means the amount of capital that is available to financial or strategic buyers for investment in strategic acquisitions, portfolio companies or add-on acquisitions.
The term originates from the historical use of gunpowder in the military.
A reserve of dry gunpowder was essential to firing weapons.