[ reyn ]
See synonyms for: rainrainingrainsrainlessness on Thesaurus.com

  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.

  1. rains, the rainy season; seasonal rainfall, as in India.

  2. weather marked by steady or frequent rainfall: We had rain most of last summer.

  3. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. to deal, hurl, fire, etc., repeatedly: to rain blows on someone's head.

Verb Phrases
  1. 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.

Idioms about rain

  1. rain cats and dogs, Informal. to rain very heavily or steadily: We canceled our picnic because it rained cats and dogs.

Origin of rain

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

Other words for rain

Other words from rain

  • rainless, adjective
  • rain·less·ness, noun

Words that may be confused with rain

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rain in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rain


/ (reɪn) /

    • 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

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

  1. rain or shine or come rain or shine

    • regardless of the weather

    • regardless of circumstances

  2. right as rain British informal perfectly all right; perfectly fit

  1. (intr ; with it as subject) to be the case that rain is falling

  2. (often with it as subject) to fall or cause to fall like rain: the lid flew off and popcorn rained on everyone

  1. (tr) to bestow in large measure: to rain abuse on someone

  2. rain cats and dogs informal to rain heavily; pour

  3. rained off cancelled or postponed on account of rain

Origin of rain

Old English regn; related to Old Frisian rein, Old High German regan, Gothic rign
  • US and Canadian term: rained out

Derived forms of rain

  • rainless, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for 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. See also hydrologic cycle.

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with rain


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.