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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Most of the rainfall fell the next day -- with the excessive amounts of rain leading to major flooding along the rivers in eastern Kentucky, shattering records along the North Fork of the Kentucky River. Melissa Griffin, ABC News, 3 Aug. 2022 What happened: At least 37 people have died, and many people are still unaccounted for after nearly a foot of rain last week led to intense flash floods, sweeping away entire houses and stranding residents on roofs. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 2 Aug. 2022 President Joe Biden declared a federal disaster to direct relief money to counties flooded after 8 to 10 1/2 inches (20 to 27 centimeters) of rain fell in just 48 hours in parts of eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia and western Virginia. Bruce Schreiner And Rebecca Reynolds, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Aug. 2022 The Angelus Oaks area in San Bernardino saw a little more than an inch of rain over the weekend. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2022 The overnight storms could bring as much as three inches of rain to some areas. Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN, 2 Aug. 2022 Rescue and recovery operations are still underway following the devastating flooding event that started last week that brought 8 to 10 1/2 inches of rain in just 48 hours in Kentucky and parts of Virginia and West Virginia. Julia Musto, Fox News, 2 Aug. 2022 The McKinney Fire, the largest wildfire the state has seen this year, has burned more than 55,000 acres and is currently not contained at all, according to Cal Fire, despite a downpour of rain on Monday. Chris Morris, Fortune, 2 Aug. 2022 The lack of rain has been a contributing factor to the record-breaking heat. Shepard Price, San Antonio Express-News, 1 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sometimes pink noise is compared to rain or waves on the beach. Ashley Stimpson, Popular Mechanics, 2 Aug. 2022 Artillery and missile attacks continue to rain down on eastern cities and surrounding towns and villages. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 8 June 2022 While the Bucks depended to a large degree on their marquee player, the Celtics’ stars could be seen looking to get the ball to the dependable Pritchard—as well as Grant Williams, who scored 27 points—to rain three-point shots down on the Bucks. Don Yaeger, Forbes, 18 May 2022 Russian airstrikes continued to rain down on the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol, where the city’s last defenders have been holed up for weeks. Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2022 Vertically arranged in layers, the lemon groves are separated by three- to seven-meter walls made of Macere -- a local limestone resistant to soil pressure and impervious to rain. Carlotta Dotto, CNN, 21 July 2022 In fact, the clouds to rain equation has become well known to many of us, even if we were not versed in the more arcane and abstruse aspects of weather forecasting. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 17 July 2022 Our customized Hatch Restore routine gives us half an hour of reading light, followed by a 20-minute sunset with soothing music and then rain sounds through the night. Simon Hill, Wired, 15 July 2022 Someone else's drama does not need to rain on your parade. Chicago Tribune, 30 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near rain



rain area

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Statistics for rain

Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rain. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for rain


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on rain

Nglish: Translation of rain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rain


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