Rain | Definition of Rain by Merriam-Webster


noun, often attributive
\ ˈrān How to pronounce rain (audio) \

Definition of rain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : water falling in drops condensed from vapor in the atmosphere
b : the descent of this water
c : water that has fallen as rain : rainwater
2a : a fall of rain : rainstorm
b rains plural : the rainy season
3 : rainy weather
4 : a heavy fall a rain of arrows


rained; raining; rains

Definition of rain (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to send down rain
2 : to fall as water in drops from the clouds
3 : to fall like rain soot and ash rained down

transitive verb

1 : to pour down
2 : to give or administer abundantly rained blows on his head
rain cats and dogs
: to rain heavily

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Examples of rain in a Sentence

Noun The weatherman forecasts rain for this afternoon. Everyone went inside when the rain began to fall. What the garden needs is a good, soaking rain. A light rain began to fall. There has been some flooding due to the recent heavy rains. We've had a week of rain. The rains came and flooded the valley. Verb Sparks from the fireworks rained on the field. The volcano rained ashes on the city.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun San Francisco: mostly cloudy with a chance of rain, 58. Tony Barboza Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Essential California: The post-holiday surge is afoot," 6 Jan. 2021 Cleveland rushed for just 66 yards in a maelstrom of wind and freezing rain as Las Vegas rolled up 208 rushing yards and held the ball for over 37 minutes. Joe Noga, cleveland, "Here’s how the Cleveland Browns reached the 2021 NFL Playoffs: Their journey week by week," 6 Jan. 2021 The rain is expected to begin over western Arkansas and spread east throughout Wednesday, according to the briefing. Brianna Kwasnik, Arkansas Online, "Forecasters expand snow predictions for north Arkansas; heavy rain expected across state," 5 Jan. 2021 The sky had turned a tenacious gray, the rain sheeting sideways. Ann Patchett, Harper's Magazine, "These Precious Days," 5 Jan. 2021 Only a chilly rain is expected farther south in central and south Alabama, according to forecasters. Leigh Morgan, al, "The ‘S-word’ may be a player in the forecast two times this week," 5 Jan. 2021 Columbia sportswear has waterproof jackets for men, women and kids made with waterproof-breathable fabric and lightweight synthetic down to keep out rain and wet, and warmth in. oregonlive, "Best January sales: Curl up in comfort with these deals on cozy furnishings, bedding, clothes and boots," 5 Jan. 2021 Today will be yet another day of cloudy skies and perhaps a few drops of rain or some flurries. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Cloudy with a chance for light showers as sun returns tomorrow," 5 Jan. 2021 The constant rain has finally stopped, electricity may or may not be installed, young love is in the air. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "The Fast Forward 2020 Winter Bookies reading list," 4 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Even if someone tries to rain on your parade, your irrepressible friendliness should act as an umbrella. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Dec. 31, 2020: Happy birthday Bebe Neuwirth; Capricorn, invent new traditions," 31 Dec. 2020 Don't pay attention to any naysayers who want to rain on your parade. Tarot Astrologers, chicagotribune.com, "Daily horoscope for December 22, 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 The character has these ferocious riffs that build toward a confrontation with God for allowing so much injustice to rain down on Black people. Dallas News, "In a year of losses, something gained: How theater was artfully brought to the screen," 11 Dec. 2020 There's a morbid cloud of stats to rain on our parade. Jasmine Vaughn-hall, USA TODAY, "This Is America: I'm Black. I'm married. And systemic racism is making me rethink having kids.," 19 Nov. 2020 But, Rohling said, American soldier know-how can't rain down from the sky. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "US Army Africa commander explains why troops are needed in Somalia," 2 Nov. 2020 Armenians huddle in a basement as Azerbaijani rockets rain down upon the city of Stepanakert. Daniel Sneider, The Christian Science Monitor, "Nagorno-Karabakh: A reporter’s regretful recollections," 26 Oct. 2020 Snow will start to fall from around 10 a.m. to noon in the Baltimore area and transition to rain as the temperature rises between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., before turning back into snow Wednesday evening, according to the forecast. Christine Condon, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland weather: Heavy, wet snow in the forecast for Baltimore on Wednesday; totals will depend on storm track," 15 Dec. 2020 Around the city and points east, the precipitation would likely start as a brief wintry mix but quickly flip to rain. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Heavy snow expected in D.C. region’s far western areas Wednesday, a messy mix elsewhere," 14 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rain


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for rain


Middle English reyn, from Old English regn, rēn; akin to Old High German regan rain

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Time Traveler for rain

Time Traveler

The first known use of rain was before the 12th century

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Statistics for rain

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

Rain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rain. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for rain


How to pronounce rain (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: water that falls in drops from clouds in the sky
: weather in which there is a lot of rain : rainy weather
: large amounts of rain that fall at a particular time of year



English Language Learners Definition of rain (Entry 2 of 2)

used with it to say that rain is falling
: to fall from above in large amounts
: to cause (something) to fall in large amounts


\ ˈrān How to pronounce rain (audio) \

Kids Definition of rain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : water falling in drops from the clouds
2 : a fall of water in drops from the clouds
3 : rainy weather “Are you going to sleep out in all this rain?”— E. B. White, Stuart Little
4 : a heavy fall of objects


rained; raining

Kids Definition of rain (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to fall as water in drops from the clouds
2 : to send down rain The clouds rained for days.
3 : to fall in large amounts Ashes rained from the volcano.
4 : to give in large amounts Friends rained advice on me.
rain cats and dogs

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