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 As Delta moves farther inland, 1 to 3 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts, are expected in the Ohio Valley and Mid Atlantic this weekend. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Hurricane Delta live updates: Louisiana, still recovering from Laura, braces for another massive storm," 9 Oct. 2020 Models print out roughly a half inch of rain Sunday night. Star Tribune, "Cooler Weather For Saturday - Severe Storm Risk Sunday," 9 Oct. 2020 Delta is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge up to 11 feet, hurricane winds and up to 15 inches of rain to parts of Louisiana. Carlie Wells, NOLA.com, "Follow Hurricane Delta in real time: Track storm's location, intensity in interactive map," 9 Oct. 2020 Up to 10 inches of rain is expected through Saturday for parts of south and central Louisiana, with some areas forecast to see as much as 15 inches of water, Shackelford said. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "Category 3 storm Delta heads straight for communities still reeling from a devastating hurricane season," 9 Oct. 2020 But as dawn approached, storm surge warnings were still in effect for portions of Louisiana, and five to 10 inches of rain were expected in some areas of the state. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "Tropical Storm Delta Strikes a Louisiana Region That Was Already Reeling," 9 Oct. 2020 Cloudy skies with a high near 74 and a 70 percent chance of rain, mainly after 10 a.m., followed by cloudy skies with an overnight low around 66 and more showers. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "What Alabama fans can expect if they go to the Ole Miss game," 9 Oct. 2020 While pier anglers are picking off very good numbers of the trout on spoons, spinners and jigs tipped with larval baits, a lack of rain is foiling the trout runs right now. cleveland, "Walleye fishing - and competition - will be hot at Blaster Fall Brawl: Cleveland-area fishing report for Oct. 8-11, 2020," 8 Oct. 2020 Blue Water Baltimore waterkeeper Alice Volpitta said the increase in jellyfish is simply due to a lack of rain. Penelope Blackwell, baltimoresun.com, "Jellyfish in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor? Here’s why people are seeing more of them.," 8 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Then as the weekend got going, the good news really began to rain down on Hollywood. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "Here’s The Insane Amount Of Celebrity Baby News You Missed This Weekend," 28 Sep. 2020 Even cities such as Seattle and Portland, which were lucky enough to get rain this past week, will not see the same luck for the upcoming week. Allison Chinchar And Haley Brink, CNN, "Heat wave, drought elevate wildfire threat in the West," 27 Sep. 2020 Catering to the needs of the top tier has caused a steady flow of commissions and fees to rain upon the world’s top private bankers and wealth management gurus. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "From bailout debacle to global dominance: Inside the turnaround at UBS," 21 Sep. 2020 The same candidates who rain in 2018, Brophy McGee and Democrat Christine Marsh, will face off again this year in something of a rematch. Andrew Oxford, The Arizona Republic, "This former GOP stronghold in Phoenix shows how Democrats are gaining ground in Arizona," 21 Sep. 2020 Wildfire smoke throughout Portland had begun to subside by Friday thanks to rain, allowing the Timbers to do short training sessions outdoors for the first time since hazardous air quality blanketed the city last week. oregonlive, "Diego Valeri scores a brace as Portland Timbers return to form, pummel San Jose Earthquakes 6-1," 19 Sep. 2020 College students who have participated in the program, and who are on break during the summer months and holidays, will often return to help rain the SWAT team members. al, "‘Coach Rich’ vows to rebuild aquatic center after Hurricane Sally destroyed it," 19 Sep. 2020 The rising temperatures, in turn, help speed up the transition from snow to rain. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "A New Arctic Is Emerging, Thanks to Climate Change," 15 Sep. 2020 With a range of 4,600 miles, a U.S. missile submarine parked off the coast of Canada could rain up to 80-100 warheads on western Russia. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What Is Trump’s New Nuclear Weapon?," 10 Sep. 2020

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

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rain. Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for rain


How to pronounce rain (audio)

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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