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rain dance

(especially among American Indians) a ritualistic dance performed to bring rain.
Origin of rain dance
1925-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rain dance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If he wishes for sun or wind or rain, "he summons his tribe, and dances a sun dance or a wind dance or a rain dance."

  • My pulse was jumping lumpily, my lungs refusing to work right, my head doing a Hopi rain dance.

    The Old Die Rich Horace Leonard Gold
  • He wished he'd acted more grown up that night they watched the rain dance at the pueblo.

    Slingshot Irving W. Lande
  • With spectacular ceremonial and regalia the Indians staged their "rain dance."

    Land of the Burnt Thigh Edith Eudora Kohl
rain dance in Technology

1. Any ceremonial action taken to correct a hardware problem, with the expectation that nothing will be accomplished. This especially applies to reseating printed circuit boards, reconnecting cables, etc. "I can't boot up the machine. We'll have to wait for Greg to do his rain dance."
2. Any arcane sequence of actions performed with computers or software in order to achieve some goal; the term is usually restricted to rituals that include both an incantation or two and physical activity or motion.
Compare magic, voodoo programming, black art, cargo cult programming, wave a dead chicken.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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