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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Around Cincinnati, the National Weather Service is predicting a 40% chance of rain on Thanksgiving Day. Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 20 Nov. 2021 About 1 to 2 inches of rain is expected across the region through Friday, then focus will turn to the next storm that will arrive just in time for the start of the holiday week. NBC News, 18 Nov. 2021 Most of the rain will fall between about 5 p.m. and midnight, with skies trending clearer thereafter. Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2021 Sunny skies followed two days of torrential storms that dumped the typical amount of rain that the city gets in all of November. Bradford Betz, Fox News, 17 Nov. 2021 Just to the south, in Washington state, over 1 foot of rain fell in five days, flooding neighborhoods, shuttering roads, forcing evacuations and bringing rivers into major flood stage. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, 17 Nov. 2021 But the threat of rain hardly put a damper on the proceedings. New York Times, 17 Nov. 2021 Sunny skies followed two days of torrential storms that dumped the typical amount of rain that the city gets in all of November, but the mayor said the water was still rising and Highway 1 would be cut shut down for some time. Jim Morris, Rob Gillies, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Nov. 2021 After a month's worth of rain in two days, the downpours triggered widespread flooding. Jess Winter, CNN, 17 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And on the sixth day, Kennedy returned from the transfer portal with six new Blazers from which to rain down buckets. Evan Dudley, al, 5 Nov. 2021 Also, the company will release its third-quarter earnings, where more scrutiny may rain down from some investors worried about what happens next to Facebook, which was valued at more than $900 billion last Friday. Editors, USA TODAY, 25 Oct. 2021 Better to brave the fog at Shemya than sit on the tarmac at Elmendorf or Eielson, waiting for ballistic missiles to rain down. David Axe, Forbes, 23 Oct. 2021 The weather in Burgundy that year ranged from frost to rain to intense sun and extended dry periods. Lettie Teague, WSJ, 5 Oct. 2021 Saturday, ahead of the first leg of the doubleheader at TMS, the weekend’s lone practice was delayed due to rain the previous night. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 2 May 2021 Honeydew can rain down on people, as well as property such as cars, houses, decks and outdoor equipment like grills. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 8 Oct. 2021 Once the warheads near their targets, the warheads de-orbit and streak downward to rain nuclear destruction. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 14 Sep. 2021 The snow also will change to rain in Summit County by this afternoon. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 21 Apr. 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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Dictionary Entries Near rain



rain area

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Statistics for rain

Last Updated

21 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rain. Accessed 30 Nov. 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

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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