or rain-out



a contest, performance, or the like, that has been rained out.
Also called washout. the removal of radioactive particles or other foreign substances from the atmosphere by precipitation.

Nearby words

  1. rainier iii,
  2. rainier, mount,
  3. raining cats and dogs,
  4. rainmaker,
  5. rainmaking,
  6. rainproof,
  7. rains,
  8. rainspout,
  9. rainsquall,
  10. rainstorm

Compare fallout.

Origin of rainout

1945–50, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase rain out




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.

verb (used without object)

(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.

verb (used with object)

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.

Verb Phrases

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.

Origin of rain

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

Related formsrain·less, adjectiverain·less·ness, noun

Can be confusedrain reign rein

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for rain-out



  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)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
  1. regardless of the weather
  2. 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
US and Canadian term: rained out

See also rains

Derived Formsrainless, adjective

Word Origin for rain

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



radioactive fallout or atmospheric pollution carried to the earth by rain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for rain-out
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for rain-out



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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with rain-out


In addition to the idioms beginning with rain

  • rain cats and dogs
  • rain check
  • rain on one's parade
  • rain or shine
  • rain out
  • rainy day, a

also see:

  • come in out of the rain
  • it never rains but it pours
  • right as rain
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.