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 She was imprisoned for raising a rainbow flag at a concert in 2017. Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, "What a Trump or a Biden win would mean for the Middle East," 1 Nov. 2020 Ford approaches the MIT Media Lab, where Stephen Benton, who invented the rainbow hologram that appears on most credit cards today, works. David Howard, Popular Mechanics, "How Kim Kardashian's Dad Came Back to Life in a Terrifying Hologram," 30 Oct. 2020 More than a year and one painful miscarriage later, Shay is now expecting her rainbow baby. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "There’s Another “Vanderpump Rules” Baby On The Way," 28 Oct. 2020 After several young people in the audience waved a rainbow flag during the weekend concert, public prosecutor Nabil Sadek ordered an investigation, which led to seven arrests the following Monday, according to The New York Times. Daniel Villarreal, NBC News, "Egyptian officials systemically abuse and torture gays, rights group says," 26 Oct. 2020 The designers at Holloway Li used the industrial process of zinc passivation to create an iridescent rainbow finish on steel bar tops and wall paneling in the common areas. Kate Mcgregor, ELLE Decor, "This New Hotel in London Is a Totally Instagram-Worthy Place to Stay," 8 Oct. 2020 Lift and lower the legs from the right to left in a semicircle, or rainbow-shaped, movement, then back to the opposite side. Ashley Mateo, Health.com, "8 Moves for a Stronger and More Stable Core," 7 Oct. 2020 Get a silicone rainbow nesting toy at Merci Milo for $23 15. Lindsey Hunter Lopez, USA TODAY, "The 26 best toys and gifts for 1-year-olds," 7 Oct. 2020 Raising a rainbow mask to her face, Tang highlighted one of the cornerstones of Taiwan’s Covid-19 strategy. Grace Huckins, Wired, "WIRED25 Day 3: Look at Problems in a New Way," 30 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective For $15, Utahans could rent rainbow flags from Project Rainbow during the duration of their city’s Pride festivities, which took place at various times throughout the summer and fall. Julie Compton, NBC News, "Pride flags ignite hope and outrage in Utah, where youth suicide rate soars," 22 Oct. 2019 Tyresse Singleton, 20, is facing hate crime and arson charges for allegedly burning two rainbow flags displayed outside Alibi Lounge on May 31, the eve of LGBTQ Pride Month, and another Monday. Tim Fitzsimons, NBC News, "NYPD probes defaced Megan Rapinoe posters," 11 July 2019 While rainbow flags decorate nearly everything from my Uber ride to streetlights, more than 10 trans women, the majority of them Black, have been murdered this year—seven have been murdered in the past month. Alicia Garza, Marie Claire, "Trans Women Don’t Want Your Sympathy. They Want to Be Treated as Human Beings.," 24 June 2019 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 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 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 Tyresse Singleton, 20, is facing hate crime and arson charges for allegedly burning two rainbow flags displayed outside Alibi Lounge on May 31, the eve of LGBTQ Pride Month, and another Monday. Tim Fitzsimons, NBC News, "NYPD probes defaced Megan Rapinoe posters," 11 July 2019 While rainbow flags decorate nearly everything from my Uber ride to streetlights, more than 10 trans women, the majority of them Black, have been murdered this year—seven have been murdered in the past month. Alicia Garza, Marie Claire, "Trans Women Don’t Want Your Sympathy. They Want to Be Treated as Human Beings.," 24 June 2019

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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Time Traveler for rainbow

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for rainbow

Last Updated

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rainbow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rainbow. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for rainbow

rainbow

noun
How to pronounce rainbow (audio)

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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