rainbow

noun
rain·​bow | \ ˈrān-ˌbō How to pronounce rainbow (audio) \

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

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Other Words from rainbow

Noun

rainbowlike \ ˈrān-​ˌbō-​ˌlīk How to pronounce rainbowlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of rainbow in a Sentence

Adjective

the rainbow costumes worn by mummers at Mardi Gras

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Gigi Hadid and celebrity nail artist Mei Kawajiri also embraced the rainbow gradient for a Euro-themed mani. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Gradient Nails Are the Prettiest New Manicure Trend for Spring," 15 Mar. 2019 Don't wait to order a rainbow cloud island for yourself. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "FUNBOY's New Giant Rainbow Cloud Island Seats 6 And Is A Dream Come True," 13 Mar. 2019 Gradually, bit by bit, the red states are becoming rainbow instead. Samantha Allen, Seventeen, "LGBTQ Teens Don't Need To Leave Red States For College," 19 Feb. 2019 But there’s also a surprising sophistication hiding beneath its candy kingdoms and flying rainbow unicorns. Verge Staff, The Verge, "The Verge’s guide to tolerable family streaming entertainment," 21 Nov. 2018 That night, the White House was lit in rainbow colors, and Michelle grabbed Malia’s hand to sneak out and watch the celebration from the shadows of her own lawn. Elisabeth Egan, Glamour, "With Becoming, Michelle Obama Proves She's Just Like You, Me, and Everyone We Know," 13 Nov. 2018 To protest Russia’s homophobic discrimination, six activists from FELGTB decided to display the rainbow flag in plain sight … with soccer jerseys. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "6 activists formed a hidden LGBT rainbow flag with soccer jerseys at the World Cup in Russia," 8 July 2018 Sometimes the rainbow hair color is inspired by food. Devon Abelman, Allure, "How Instagram Sparked the Indie Hair-Color Brand Revolution," 27 June 2018 At Pearl River, three people from Taylor’s team spent six days repainting the building’s façade in the her signature bright prints and rainbow colors. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "A Summer Camp for Kids With Cancer Got a Fashionable Makeover," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

There’s Jane Fonda on the red carpet looking smoking in Valentino, and Céline Dion showing off her mile-long legs in Alexandre Vauthier, and Baddiewinkle on Instagram wearing unitards so violently rainbow-colored, Miley Cyrus might wince. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "In the Year of the Runway Zaddy, Where Are the MILFs?," 4 Feb. 2019 With that in mind, those with dark or rainbow hair most likely aren't the best suited for a mauve champagne hue. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Mauve Champagne Hair Is the Unexpected Way to Change Up Your Blonde for Fall," 24 Sep. 2018 The Harts did find a community that embraced their rainbow family. Lauren Smiley, Glamour, "Two White Moms. Six Black Kids. One Unthinkable Tragedy. A Look Inside the ‘Perfect’ Hart Family," 6 Sep. 2018 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

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.

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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

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Statistics for rainbow

Last Updated

22 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rainbow

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

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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 How to pronounce rainbow (audio) \

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 How to pronounce rainbow (audio) \

Medical Definition of rainbow

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

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Comments on rainbow

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