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 (see race entry 1 sense 1a) or cultural backgrounds a rainbow coalition

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Other Words from rainbow

Noun

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

Examples of rainbow in a Sentence

Adjective the rainbow costumes worn by mummers at Mardi Gras
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Once the ropes of lights are added, the structures glow bright purple, orange or an entire rainbow of colors. Washington Post, "Harbin Ice Festival is a bright spot during winter’s dark days," 3 Jan. 2021 The photographs that came out of that shoot show a stunning array of skin tones, from light to dark like a rainbow of brown skin. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "The Melanin Project showcases the beauty of Black skin while working to combat colorism," 13 Nov. 2020 After the announcement there was actually a double rainbow over L.A. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, "'Joe Biden did it!' Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, more late-night hosts celebrate," 10 Nov. 2020 The meme, which features cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants and a rainbow, is typically used online to convey ideas in a condescending manner. Sam Dorman, Fox News, "Nevada charter school's students were instructed to link aspects of their identity with oppression: lawsuit," 24 Dec. 2020 The rainbow cascades down the page as paragraphs appear. Sarah Matusek, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘Good morning, sweet girl’: A day in the life of an online teacher," 21 Dec. 2020 Another that features a rainbow and a river hangs outside the emergency room. Peter Krouse, cleveland, "Hospital turns discarded stickers into therapeutic art," 19 Dec. 2020 Steve dropped his fly into a riffle near the bank and instantly brought out a 8-inch rainbow. R. Gregory Nokes | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "No one ever uttered a bad word about Steve Carter — expert reporter, editor and fisherman," 9 Dec. 2020 When a fierce solar flare battered the Earth 161 years ago, electricity surged through telegraph lines and frazzled communications as a rainbow of auroras lit up skies around the world. ExpressNews.com, "Express Briefing: Protecting the power grid from ‘weapons of mass disruption’," 4 Dec. 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

1587, 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

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rainbow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rainbow. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on rainbow

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