- water that is condensed from the aqueous vapor in the atmosphere and falls to earth in drops more than 1/50 inch (0.5 mm) in diameter.Compare drizzle(def 6).
- a rainfall, rainstorm, or shower: We had a light rain this afternoon.
- rains, the rainy season; seasonal rainfall, as in India.
- weather marked by steady or frequent rainfall: We had rain most of last summer.
- a heavy and continuous descent or inflicting of anything: a rain of blows; a rain of vituperation.
- (of rain) to fall (usually used impersonally with it as subject): It rained all night.
- to fall like rain: Tears rained from their eyes.
- to send down rain: The lightning flashed and the sky rained on us in torrents.
- to send down in great quantities, as small pieces or objects: People on rooftops rained confetti on the parade.
- to offer, bestow, or give in great quantity: to rain favors upon a person.
- to deal, hurl, fire, etc., repeatedly: to rain blows on someone's head.
- rain out, to cause, by raining, the cancellation or postponement of a sports event, performance, or the like: The double-header was rained out yesterday.
- rain cats and dogs, Informal. to rain very heavily or steadily: We canceled our picnic because it rained cats and dogs.
Origin of rain
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for rain
“Firestorms Will Rain on the Headquarters of War,” the title threatened.Inside the ‘Surprisingly Great’ North Korean Hacker Hotel
December 20, 2014
He walked down to the beach anyway, in the rain, and went for a long swim.Colm Toibin Describes The Creation Of His Quiet Masterpiece ‘Nora Webster’
November 3, 2014
Hordes of celebrants, swept by rain, surged over the five-year-old Brooklyn Bridge.128 Years Old and Still a Looker: Happy Birthday to Lady Liberty
October 28, 2014
Maybe he had been at a card game—wherever he was, it was late and he was speeding in the rain.Those Kansas City Blues: A Family History
October 24, 2014
On Roles Murray Turned Down: Tom Cruise in Rain Man: “Something about Rain Man.”Bill Murray’s Words of Wisdom: On Comedy, the Greatness of In-N-Out, and Searching For Great Love
October 10, 2014
Rain, which we were much in want of, fell lightly most of the day.
I am indeed pleased to get this rain at last, as the country is very dry.
The country is very dry, and I should think there has not been any rain for several months.
We have not had a drop of rain since the light shower on the 4th August.
If there was rain, there would be enough water here for a month or more.
- precipitation from clouds in the form of drops of water, formed by the condensation of water vapour in the atmosphere
- a fall of rain; shower
- (in combination)a raindrop Related adjectives: hyetal, pluvious
- a large quantity of anything falling rapidly or in quick successiona rain of abuse
- rain or shine or come rain or shine
- regardless of the weather
- regardless of circumstances
- right as rain British informal perfectly all right; perfectly fit
- (intr ; with it as subject) to be the case that rain is falling
- (often with it as subject) to fall or cause to fall like rainthe lid flew off and popcorn rained on everyone
- (tr) to bestow in large measureto rain abuse on someone
- rain cats and dogs informal to rain heavily; pour
- rained off cancelled or postponed on account of rain
Word Origin and History for rain
Old English regn "rain," from Proto-Germanic *regna- (cf. Old Saxon regan, Old Frisian rein, Middle Dutch reghen, Dutch regen, German regen, Old Norse regn, Gothic rign "rain"), with no certain cognates outside Germanic, unless it is from a presumed PIE *reg- "moist, wet," which may be the source of Latin rigare "to wet, moisten" (cf. irrigate). Rain dance is from 1867; rain date in listings for outdoor events is from 1948. To know enough to come in out of the rain (usually with a negative) is from 1590s. Rainshower is Old English renscur.
Old English regnian, usually contracted to rinan; see rain (n.), and cf. Old Norse rigna, Swedish regna, Danish regne, Old High German reganon, German regnen, Gothic rignjan. Related: Rained; raining. Transferred and figurative use of other things that fall as rain (blessings, tears, etc.) is recorded from c.1200.
To rain on (someone's) parade is attested from 1941. Phrase to rain cats and dogs is attested from 1738 (variation rain dogs and polecats is from 1650s), of unknown origin, despite intense speculation. One of the less likely suggestions is pets sliding off sod roofs when the sod got too wet during a rainstorm. (Ever see a dog react to a rainstorm by climbing up on an exposed roof?) Probably rather an extension of cats and dogs as proverbial for "strife, enmity" (1570s).
- Water that condenses from water vapor in the atmosphere and falls to Earth as separate drops from clouds. Rain forms primarily in three ways: at weather fronts, when the water vapor in the warmer mass of air cools and condenses; along mountain ranges, when a warm mass of air is forced to rise over a mountain and its water vapor cools and condenses; and by convection in hot climates, when the water vapor in suddenly rising masses of warm air cools and condenses. See also hydrologic cycle.