Cain

1
[ keyn ]
/ keɪn /

noun

the first son of Adam and Eve, who murdered his brother Abel. Gen. 4.
a murderer.

Idioms

    raise Cain, Slang.
    1. become angry or violent: He'll raise Cain when he finds out I lost his watch.
    2. to behave in a boisterous manner; cause a disturbance: The students raised Cain while the teacher was out.

Related forms

Cain·ism, nounCain·it·ic [key-nit-ik] /keɪˈnɪt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for raise cain (1 of 2)

Cain

/ (keɪn) /

noun

the first son of Adam and Eve, who killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4:1–16)
raise Cain
  1. to cause a commotion
  2. to react or protest heatedly

British Dictionary definitions for raise cain (2 of 2)

cain

kain

/ (keɪn) /

noun

history (in Scotland and Ireland) payment in kind, usually farm produce paid as rent

Word Origin for cain

C12: from Scottish Gaelic cāin rent, perhaps ultimately from Late Latin canōn tribute (see canon); compare Middle Irish cāin law
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

Culture definitions for raise cain

raise Cain


To create a disturbance: “Alan and his buddies were always raising Cain over at the frat house.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with raise cain (1 of 2)

raise Cain


Also, raise hell or the devil. Behave in a rowdy or disruptive way, as in He said he'd raise Cain if they wouldn't give him a refund, or The gang was out to raise hell that night, or The wind raised the devil with our picnic. The first term alludes to the son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother, Abel. It was first recorded in the St. Louis Daily Pennant (May 2, 1840): “Why have we every reason to believe that Adam and Eve were both rowdies? Because ... they both raised Cain.”. This statement makes a pun on raise, meaning “bring up” or “nurturing.” The two variants, alluding to bringing hell or the devil up to this world, are older, the first from about 1700, the second from about 1800.

Idioms and Phrases with raise cain (2 of 2)

Cain


see raise Cain.

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