View synonyms for rain


[ reyn ]


  1. water that is condensed from the aqueous vapor in the atmosphere and falls to earth in drops more than 0.02 inch (0.5 millimeters) in diameter. Compare drizzle ( def 6 ).
  2. a rainfall, rainstorm, or shower:

    We had a light rain this afternoon.

  3. rains, the rainy season; seasonal rainfall, as in India.
  4. weather marked by steady or frequent rainfall:

    We had rain most of last summer.

  5. a heavy and continuous descent or inflicting of anything:

    a rain of blows; a rain of vituperation.

verb (used without object)

  1. (of rain) to fall (usually used impersonally with it as subject):

    It rained all night.

  2. to fall like rain:

    Tears rained from their eyes.

  3. to send down rain:

    The lightning flashed and the sky rained on us in torrents.

verb (used with object)

  1. to send down in great quantities, as small pieces or objects:

    People on rooftops rained confetti on the parade.

  2. to offer, bestow, or give in great quantity:

    to rain favors upon a person.

    Synonyms: pour, shower, lavish

  3. to deal, hurl, fire, etc., repeatedly:

    to rain blows on someone's head.

verb phrase

  1. to cause, by raining, the cancellation or postponement of a sports event, performance, or the like:

    The double-header was rained out yesterday.


/ reɪn /


    1. precipitation from clouds in the form of drops of water, formed by the condensation of water vapour in the atmosphere
    2. a fall of rain; shower
    3. ( in combination ) hyetalpluvious

      a raindrop

  1. a large quantity of anything falling rapidly or in quick succession

    a rain of abuse

  2. rain or shine
    rain or shinecome rain or shine
    1. regardless of the weather
    2. regardless of circumstances
  3. right as rain informal.
    right as rain perfectly all right; perfectly fit


  1. intr; with it as subject to be the case that rain is falling
  2. often withit as subject to fall or cause to fall like rain

    the lid flew off and popcorn rained on everyone

  3. tr to bestow in large measure

    to rain abuse on someone

  4. rain cats and dogs informal.
    rain cats and dogs to rain heavily; pour
  5. rained off
    rained off cancelled or postponed on account of rain


/ rān /

  1. 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.

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Derived Forms

  • ˈrainless, adjective

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Other Words From

  • rainless adjective
  • rainless·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of rain1

First recorded before 900; (noun) Middle English rein; Old English regn, rēn, cognate with Dutch, German regen, Old Norse regn, Gothic rign; (verb) Middle English reinen, Old English regnian

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Word History and Origins

Origin of rain1

Old English regn ; related to Old Frisian rein , Old High German regan , Gothic rign

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. rain cats and dogs, Informal. to rain very heavily or steadily:

    We canceled our picnic because it rained cats and dogs.

More idioms and phrases containing rain

  • come in out of the rain
  • it never rains but it pours
  • right as rain

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Example Sentences

Understandably, residents may be hoping for rain to douse—or at least slow down—the inferno.

Heaviest rain totals & greatest flooding potential will be Tuesday and Wednesday.

Norie QuintosThe dry season in central Guyana and on its savanna is October to March, with temperatures around 80 degrees, though the region does experience some rain in December.

He points to weeks of torrential rains and catastrophic flooding in China.

From Fortune

For forecasting further into the future, what the rain or winds were like many days ago becomes less and less relevant.

“Firestorms Will Rain on the Headquarters of War,” the title threatened.

Basosila Botala is wearing a blue rain jacket despite the sweltering heat.

Small rooms off its graffiti-covered foyer provide shelter from the thick rain that can unexpectedly, and vengefully, hit.

Alice wore a black nylon rain jacket that looked as if it was ill prepared to deal with the coming chill.

We thought they would come last night, but we think there was too much rain.

She set off down Trafalgar Road in the mist and the rain, glad that she had been compelled to walk.

The riches of the unjust shall be dried up like a river, and shall pass away with a noise like a great thunder in rain.

Aristide again sought the message of the stars; but the sky was clouded over, and soon a fine rain began to fall.

I say, my good friend, I have come all the way back to ask you how you were able to say that it would certainly rain to-day?

Now this morning I saw it put down for to-day Very pleasant, and I knew for sartin it would rain before night.


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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.