acid rain


Definition of acid rain

: rain that has increased acidity caused by environmental factors (such as atmospheric pollutants)

Examples of acid rain in a Sentence

trees damaged by acid rain
Recent Examples on the Web Carbon dioxide doesn’t get all the blame here—scientists know that the eruptions released so much sulfur that the resulting acid rain turned some parts of the sea to lemon juice. Matt Simon, Wired, "The Epic Siberian Journey to Solve a Mass Extinction Mystery," 6 July 2020 Intense cold, constant darkness, wildfires, tsunamis, unbearable heat in the impact area, and eventual acid rain mangled the planet. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Volcanoes may have helped life bounce back after dinosaur-killing asteroid strike," 29 June 2020 Plastic rain could prove to be a more insidious problem than acid rain, which is a consequence of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. Matt Simon, Wired, "Plastic Rain Is the New Acid Rain," 11 June 2020 When higher in our atmosphere, NO2 can form acid rain. Fox News, "As China's coronavirus shutdowns end, air pollutants rise to traditional levels," 30 May 2020 The pollutant is blamed for worsening human health conditions like cardiovascular disease and asthma, and causing acid rain. Jack Wittels,, "Shipping’s Big Bang Sends Two Global Industries Spinning," 13 May 2020 In many cases, like the emission of chemicals that produce acid rain, pollution controls are designed to handle multiple issues simultaneously. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "EPA says incidental benefits of pollution rules don’t count," 18 Apr. 2020 One study found that acid rain would eventually damage an area almost the size of Germany. Ian Willms, National Geographic, "This is the world's most destructive oil operation—and it's growing," 11 Apr. 2019 The goal was to reduce air pollution and acid rain, increase air quality and visibility, slow climate change and protect the ozone layer. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Air quality in US dramatically worse than in prior years, says new 'State of the Air' report," 21 Apr. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of acid rain

1845, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about acid rain

Time Traveler for acid rain

Time Traveler

The first known use of acid rain was in 1845

See more words from the same year

Statistics for acid rain

Last Updated

18 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Acid rain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for acid rain

acid rain


English Language Learners Definition of acid rain

: rain that contains dangerous chemicals because of smoke from cars and factories

acid rain


Medical Definition of acid rain

: acid precipitation especially in the form of rain

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on acid rain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with acid rain

Spanish Central: Translation of acid rain Encyclopedia article about acid rain

Comments on acid rain

What made you want to look up acid rain? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!