any of several birds, especially the black-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus) and the yellow-billed cuckoo (C. americanus), that are said to call frequently before a rainstorm.

Nearby words

  1. rain shower,
  2. rain tree,
  3. rain-cloud,
  4. rain-out,
  5. rainband,
  6. rainbow,
  7. rainbow bird,
  8. rainbow bridge,
  9. rainbow cactus,
  10. rainbow darter

Origin of rainbird

First recorded in 1910–15; rain + bird

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

Examples from the Web for rainbird

  • Rainbird is a local name for the green woodpecker, but as an East-Anglian name it is most likely an imitative form of Fr.

    The Romance of Names|Ernest Weekley

British Dictionary definitions for rainbird



any of various birds, such as (in Britain) the green woodpecker, whose cry is supposed to portend 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