rain

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

rain

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

As the final guests braved the rain to depart at about 2:00 a.m, Vanity Fair closed the door on another epic night in the French Riviera. Catherine Scott, Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Attend Vanity Fair's Cannes After-Party," 21 May 2019 The former adds ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, and rain-sensing wipers; the latter adds premium leather seats, 19-inch wheels, and a panoramic sunroof. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Lincoln Corsair Can Cost More Than $60,000 Fully Loaded," 16 May 2019 For example, light rain that breaks out on your way up a peak could make the trip back pretty precarious, Schimelpfenig explains. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "14 Essential Hiking Safety Tips You Should Always Follow," 10 May 2019 The region's forecast is looking both rain-free and warm. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The Weather Forecast for Mother's Day Weekend Isn't Looking Good," 10 May 2019 In California, a burst of vegetation from rains could serve as fuel in the dry summer months and heighten the wildfire danger in some areas, forecasters say. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "As Hurricane, Fire Seasons Approach, More People Likely to Be in Harm’s Way," 9 May 2019 There's been so much rain that the National Weather Service has issued flood alerts for Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Winter Storm Is Probably Going to Mess Up Your Holiday Travel," 21 Dec. 2018 The solo stretches, where Sellers battled unrelenting rain and fierce headwinds with no protection, were brutal. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "How Sarah Sellers Went From Surprise Podium Finisher at the Boston Marathon to Pro Athlete," 8 Apr. 2019 The water surged into town after heavy rains and snow melt broke a nearby levee, forcing evacuations through communities here. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "The Missouri River Has Crested, but Some Towns Are Still Under Water," 27 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The risk of infection Zoonotic diseases are here to rain on your pet-kissing parade. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How Unsanitary Is It to Kiss Your Pet on the Mouth?," 2 May 2019 It can be used inside or out, but its effectiveness is reduced when exposed to rain. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Rid of Termites," 8 Jan. 2019 These love letters begin to rain down in a torrent all around her. Anna Silman, The Cut, "The Tale and the Truth About 13-Year-Old Girls," 25 May 2018 Current forecasts point to rain for all of southeast Michigan. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Weather: 70 degrees, then ice storm looming for metro Detroit," 11 Apr. 2018 The Mud Creek Slide, which rained debris in one of the state’s largest landslides, destroyed a quarter-mile section of roadway on May 20, 2017. Mary Forgione, latimes.com, "Big Sur road coming back: Highway 1, closed for a year and a half because of massive slide, to reopen by July 20," 4 July 2018 That final, of course, was marred by controversy, as an argument between Serena Williams and the umpire, Carlos Ramos, ended in an ugly scene: Osaka in tears during the trophy ceremony as the crowd, firmly on Serena’s side, rained boos upon her. Louisa Thomas, Vogue, "The New Number One: Naomi Osaka Is Playing to Win," 21 Mar. 2019 That happens, in part, due to a fundamental change in the monsoon rains around the Indian Ocean, forcing them to shift westward. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Mad scientists flip the Earth’s spin in climate models, watch water go nuts," 17 Oct. 2018 India is likely to receive average monsoon rains this year, the IMD said in a statement. Manveena Suri, CNN, "Pre-monsoon showers leave 48 dead in northern India," 29 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of rain

Noun

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

Verb

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

History and Etymology for rain

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rain

rain

noun

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

rain

verb

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

rain

noun
\ 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

rain

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on rain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rain

Spanish Central: Translation of rain

Nglish: Translation of rain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rain

Comments on rain

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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