rainbow

noun
rain·bow | \ ˈrān-ˌbō \

Definition of rainbow 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an arc or circle that exhibits in concentric bands the colors of the spectrum and that is formed opposite the sun by the refraction and reflection of the sun's rays in raindrops, spray, or mist

2a : a multicolored array

b : a wide assortment or range a rainbow of flavors

3 [ from the impossibility of reaching the rainbow, at whose foot a pot of gold is said to be buried ] : an illusory goal or hope

rainbow

adjective

Definition of rainbow (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having many colors

2 : of, relating to, or being people of different races or cultural backgrounds a rainbow coalition

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from rainbow

Noun

rainbowlike \ˈrān-ˌbō-ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of rainbow in a Sentence

Adjective

the rainbow costumes worn by mummers at Mardi Gras

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Vuitton runway itself was a rainbow gradient, and various colors of T-shirts were placed on each seat. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "Hugging Is the Coolest Thing You Can Do Right Now," 21 June 2018 The 8-inch cake is coated in white buttercream icing with rainbow sprinkles and is available for $69.95. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Houston takes the cake for LGBT Pride month," 11 June 2018 The event included a pride seder haggadah modeled after a Passover one, candles lit to represent the colors of the rainbow and a chuppah in which attendees stood under while healing prayers were uttered. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "Synagogues celebrate LGBTQ community during Pride Month," 15 June 2018 The look has led to an uptick in makeup offerings like palettes that come in all shades of the rainbow, special contour kits, and eyelash extension services; makeup sales have boomed in the past several years. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The long-term influence of Meghan Markle’s royal wedding makeup," 21 May 2018 And just as that session wrapped up, some participants noticed one end of a rainbow planted out on the waters of Weeks Bay, straight out from the camp shoreline. Lawrence Specker, AL.com, "New GulfCorps program putting conservation teams to work," 21 Jan. 2018 Freddie Freeman hit a grounder back to Chacín, which should have held the runner at third, but when the pitcher lobbed a rainbow throw to first base, Albies raced home without a throw for a 2-0 lead. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 7, Braves 2: Jhoulys Chacín gives a weary bullpen some rest with 7 strong innings," 5 July 2018 And by chance, all the women wore dresses in colors that together made up a rainbow. Ed Frauenheim, Fortune, "How Workday Became One of the Best Places to Work for Millennials," 26 June 2018 Players have taken to social media to post pictures and videos taken near the 49 rainbow seats at Orlando City Stadium. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando Pride set for ‘Pride in Our City’ match against Sky Blue FC," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

While rainbow jewelry is often dismissed as twee, these sparklers are all grown up. Hayley Phelan, New York Times, "How to Be a Poolside Pinup," 27 June 2018 Hundreds of people chanted slogans and waved rainbow flags on side streets along Istiklal Avenue, Istanbul’s main pedestrian thoroughfare. NBC News, "Turkish police disperse LGBTI activists holding banned march," 2 July 2018 Hundreds of people chanted slogans and waved rainbow flags on side streets along Istiklal Avenue, Istanbul's main pedestrian thoroughfare. Zeynep Bilginsoy, Fox News, "Turkish police disperse LGBTI activists holding banned march," 1 July 2018 More rainbow looks: Now check out this rainbow nail art: Follow Allure on Instagram and Twitter, or subscribe to our newsletter for daily beauty stories delivered right to your inbox. Melissa Minton, Allure, "Cardi B Debuts Rainbow Wig and Matching Heels in a New Instagram Celebrating Her Pregnancy," 7 June 2018 There’s rainbow flasks; shiny, rainbow boxer briefs in XXL; and bi and transgender flags. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "At Target and Walmart, Pride is profitable. The Supreme Court ought to drop by.," 7 June 2018 There's pretty much an option for every type of accessorizer, so go ahead and take your pick of the very best rainbow jewelry available to shop right now. Ana Colon, Glamour, "27 Rainbow Jewelry Pieces That Are Just Plain Fun," 6 June 2018 So wrap up that phone interview with Sean and Jayden Federline, cut yourself a big piece of rainbow princess cake, and listen to this week’s episode of In the Limelight. Josh Duboff, vanityfair.com, "North West Marks a Special Kardashian Milestone," 30 Aug. 2017 By all accounts, Comins Lake was well on its way to recovery after the state restocked the fishery with largemouth bass, brown and rainbow trout in 2015. Scott Sonner, The Seattle Times, "Reward offered to catch Nevada lake invasive fish dumper," 12 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rainbow.' 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 rainbow

Noun

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

Adjective

1637, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rainbow

Statistics for rainbow

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rainbow

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rainbow

rainbow

noun

English Language Learners Definition of rainbow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a curved line of different colors that sometimes appears in the sky when the sun shines through rain

rainbow

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of rainbow (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or including people of different races, cultures, etc.

rainbow

noun
rain·bow | \ ˈrān-ˌbō \

Kids Definition of rainbow

: an arc of colors that appears in the sky opposite the sun and is caused by the sun shining through rain, mist, or spray

rainbow

noun
rain·bow | \ ˈrān-ˌbō \

Medical Definition of rainbow 

slang

: a combination of the sodium derivatives of amobarbital and secobarbital in a blue and red capsule

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on rainbow

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!