freezing rain


: rain that freezes upon contact with a surface (such as the ground)
But to Healy's surprise, a glaze of freezing rain began to appear on the windshield.Jon Vara
This also explains why the stuff we call freezing rain … falls as a liquid but then turns to a sheet of ice when it strikes the pavement or a tree branch.Frederick K. Lutgens et al.
compare hail entry 1, sleet entry 1, snow entry 1

Examples of freezing rain in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Snow as well as freezing rain could be the big threats from the Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes on Monday. Allison Chinchar, CNN, 30 Mar. 2024 The National Weather Service said early Monday that the Northern and Central Plains into the Upper Midwest would be affected, with sleet and freezing rain reaching as far as the Mississippi Valley. Patrick Smith, NBC News, 25 Mar. 2024 Why are the trees and power lines safe? Usually freezing rain forecasts spell worry for utility companies shuffling power along aerial lines. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Feb. 2024 Some schools in the Kansas City metro announced closures Tuesday as freezing rain continued to make some roads icy. Andrea Klick, Kansas City Star, 23 Jan. 2024 This could happen if extremely cold temperatures, freezing rain or ice are present, all of which could damage the siren system. Victoria Moorwood, The Enquirer, 3 Apr. 2024 Dense fog advisory covers much of Midwest, South Conditions from a dense fog that descended over the Midwest on Wednesday as some areas braced for freezing rain will continue through Thursday. Anthony Robledo, The Courier-Journal, 25 Jan. 2024 The National Weather Service has issued winter weather advisories for portions east-central, north-central and northeast Kansas as well as west-central, north-central, northeast and northwest Missouri, saying freezing rain could make travel difficult, with untreated roads becoming slick. Robert A. Cronkleton, Kansas City Star, 22 Jan. 2024 About a tenth of an inch of freezing rain is expected, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a winter weather advisory for southeast Michigan starting at about 7 p.m. and lasting through Tuesday. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, 22 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'freezing rain.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1672, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of freezing rain was in 1672

Dictionary Entries Near freezing rain

Cite this Entry

“Freezing rain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

freezing rain

: rain that freezes upon contact with a surface (as the ground)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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