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 At his feet was a worn suitcase filled with more than 60 cans of spray paint in a rainbow of colors. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "'Elevated street art' - San Antonio's West Side blossoms with colorful murals," 25 Apr. 2021 Similarly, multiple designers said their clients love that many LEDs can be tweaked—even transformed into a rainbow of hues—from their smartphones using programs from Lutron Homeworks and Savant. Kathryn O’shea-evans, WSJ, "Outdoor Lighting Ideas to Make Your Yard Look Like a Luxury Resort," 23 Apr. 2021 The small den-guest room is sparsely furnished, but a patchwork rug and a rainbow of books keep it lively. Christine Lennon, Better Homes & Gardens, "Stylemaker Ellen Marie Bennett and Casey Caplowe Perfectly Blend Styles in Their LA Home and Garden," 15 Apr. 2021 But what shine most are the plastic wristbands — a rainbow of yellow, gray, red and blue spreading through the brush — some cinched to fit the smallest arms. Anchorage Daily News, "The things migrants carried — and dropped — as they crossed the border," 11 Apr. 2021 Bags of tortilla chips come in a mixed rainbow of hues including blue, green, orange and more. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, "The 5 best shops to buy tortillas in San Antonio along Blanco from Hildebrand to Castle Hills," 7 Apr. 2021 Many people referred to it as a rainbow on social media. Marshall Shepherd, Forbes, "NASA Image Of Ingenuity Did Not Capture A Martian Rainbow - Here’s An Explanation," 5 Apr. 2021 Seeing a rainbow, no matter how fleeting, is a spectacular sight. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "This State Is the Best Place in the World to See Rainbows," 1 Apr. 2021 The 10-year-old meme of a cartoon kitten dressed as a Pop-Tart dancing on a rainbow across time and space? Dallas News, "Kittens, tweets and basketball memories — Mark Cuban’s new online gallery is a showroom for the latest craze: NFTs," 1 Apr. 2021 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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rainbow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rainbow. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on rainbow

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