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 At the same moment Powell was speaking to the Economic Club, rain was falling on the encampment, and residents were scrambling to stay dry. Washington Post, "Two blocks from the Federal Reserve, a growing encampment of the homeless haunts the economy’s most powerful person," 17 Apr. 2021 The series opener was postponed Friday due to poor field conditions caused by rain that fell throughout the day in Fayetteville. Matt Jones, Arkansas Online, "Hogs, Aggies rained out, schedule Saturday doubleheader," 17 Apr. 2021 The Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race was held Saturday, a day after a storm brought drenching rain and snow to the state. BostonGlobe.com, "New England news in brief," 17 Apr. 2021 This zippered jacket shields cyclists from wind and light rain courtesy of its polyester/elastane composition and durable water-repellent coating. Melissa Nott, chicagotribune.com, "Spring cycling: What to wear," 17 Apr. 2021 The high temperature will top out in the low to mid 40s across Connecticut on Friday as the rain likely continues through most of the afternoon, forecasters said. Zach Murdock, courant.com, "Last gasp of winter drops coating of snow across most of Connecticut, several inches in some towns and hills," 16 Apr. 2021 Despite the rain, there was a festive feel to the distribution, thanks in large part to the presence of a large, soggy, green-eyed varmint. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, "Food Bank, Spurs Give team to feed East Side families at AT&T Center," 16 Apr. 2021 But after dreaming for so long to feel the sun on her face again, she was greeted by rain. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, "‘I am free today’: After three years, Vicky Chavez can safely leave her sanctuary at a Salt Lake City church," 16 Apr. 2021 But the volume of contaminated water in storage is growing, by a rate of around 170 tons a day, as the nuclear debris continues to contaminate groundwater and rain. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "All nuclear plants dump wastewater into the ocean—but Japan’s Fukushima release poses a unique problem," 16 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Friday night’s series opener was postponed due to snow and rain. Ken Powtak, ajc, "New-look Red Sox top White Sox 7-4, Gonzalez HR starts rally," 18 Apr. 2021 While not intending to rain on Martin Jarmond’s and UCLA basketball’s postseason optimism, the ancient truism that past results do not guarantee future performance must be new to the Bruin AD and fellow UCLA fanatics. Los Angeles Times, "Letters: Hot Dodgers are always a hot topic," 17 Apr. 2021 The February attack even saw rockets rain down on residential areas outside the airport. Paul Iddon, Forbes, "The New Threat Of Drone Attacks On Iraqi Kurdistan’s Erbil," 17 Apr. 2021 This will allow for a transition from snow to rain as the precipitation continues to move east. Jackson Dill And Monica Garrett, CNN, "Say it isn't snow! Winter-like weather is forecast into next week," 16 Apr. 2021 The Swift faithful were already threatening to rain down damnation on anyone caught sneaking an audio peek at the old version after midnight. Chris Willman, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Taylor Swift turns on a facsimile machine for ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ and its ingenious recreations," 9 Apr. 2021 This is the scene that has unfolded on the Queens corridor almost every day since May — rain or shine — as part of the city’s Open Streets program. Caroline Spivack, Curbed, "Volunteers Are Actually the Ones Funding Open Streets Programs. Why Isn’t the City?," 7 Apr. 2021 Portland will see a sunny Tuesday with temperatures climbing to about 66 degrees before clouds and even rain move in later in the week. oregonlive, "Portland metro Tuesday weather: Clear blue skies; clouds move in overnight," 6 Apr. 2021 While President Biden is promising to visit the border, Republican leaders already have, using the crisis not just to force policy changes but to rain on Biden’s victory lap following passage of the American Rescue Plan. Washington Examiner Staff, Washington Examiner, "Border frenzy: Crowded, COVID-19, and crime," 22 Mar. 2021

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

19 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rain. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for rain



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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