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

Imagine Thompson racing across a rainbow bridge on winged steed with Stewart hugging her back, while Natalie Portman is out there wielding Mjolnir? Nick Romano, EW.com, "Let Taika Waititi direct Kristen Stewart in a movie, you cowards," 8 Sep. 2019 World Pride was hosted this year in New York, meaning domestic and international LGTBQI+ guests were welcomed to the city with open arms and rainbow flags. Nandi Howard, Essence, "The Best Fashion Moments From NYC Pride 2019," 1 July 2019 Grab your rainbow flags and head downtown to catch the annual Coors Light Denver Pride Parade, which this year features Gov. Jared Polis, among others, as grand marshal. Danika Worthington, The Know, "17 things to do at Denver PrideFest, from drag queen brunch to block parties," 12 June 2019 Penelope also received a white swivel chair, rainbow tape lights that glow from behind her headboard and a special portrait of the grade-schooler created by artists the Kaplan Twins. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Scott Disick Just Gave 7-Year-Old Daughter Penelope's Bedroom a $20,000 Makeover," 17 Sep. 2019 This 'new' palette is not just a 'rainbow' palette. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "James Charles Just Got Real About Wet N Wild Allegedly Copying His Eyeshadow Palette," 12 Sep. 2019 This year’s invite inspired conjecture on what the colorful visual riff on the rainbow Apple logo of yesteryear might suggest. Wired, "How to Watch Apple’s 2019 iPhone Announcement," 9 Sep. 2019 School officials for a time shortly after the incident told students neither Confederate flags nor rainbow pride flags and clothing worn in support of LGBTQ rights were appropriate. Washington Post, "Racist, anti-gay student flyers challenge Wyoming district," 1 July 2019 School officials for a time shortly after the incident told students neither Confederate flags nor rainbow pride flags and clothing worn in support of LGBTQ rights were appropriate. Mead Gruver, BostonGlobe.com, "Racist, antigay student fliers challenge Wyoming district," 30 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 Instead of coming with add-on bumpers, like the previous Echo Dot Kids Edition, the new model is available in either frost blue or rainbow fabric colors. Dan Seifert, The Verge, "Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition comes in blue or rainbow colors," 12 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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Statistics for rainbow

Last Updated

18 Oct 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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