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

The evidence lies at home with backpacks of all colors of the rainbow lining my closet door and shelf begging to be worn with my next outfit. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "16 Cute Backpacks That Won’t Make You Look Like You’re Going Back to School," 10 Aug. 2018 The big rainbows that call the South Fork home are coming up to slurp caddis imitations and yellow sally stoneflies. Swinging bigger patterns like leeches, sculpins and cicadas is a good way to target trophy-sized fish. Jordan Rodriguez, idahostatesman, "Fishing is hitting its summer stride across southern Idaho," 8 June 2018 It was referred to as carnival glass in the 1950s, as collectors were enthralled with the rainbows of color. Brenda Yenke, cleveland.com, "Retro American Glass Show this weekend: Yenke Peddler antiques," 3 May 2018 Feathers also come in all the colors of the rainbow and an endless variety of color patterns. Steven Austad, AL.com, "Dinosaurs in the garden," 14 Apr. 2018 Who could forget when, a few years ago, Uber attached rainbow flags to all the cars on its app? Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Tarte's Debuts Rainbow Eye Makeup Collection Ahead of Pride Month," 22 May 2019 In an additional show of solidarity and inclusion, all IKEA locations will raise a rainbow Pride flag on June 1. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "IKEA's Iconic Shopping Bag Is Now Available in Rainbow—for a Great Cause," 21 May 2019 But take one step into Johnson Hartig’s Libertine studio in Los Angeles and you’ll feel transported to that place somewhere over the rainbow where the sun really does always shine. Vogue, "For Libertine’s Johnson Hartig, Home Is Where the Art Is," 26 Apr. 2019 Liza Minnelli is not over the rainbow about the upcoming biopic about her mother, Judy Garland. Mike Miller, PEOPLE.com, "Liza Minnelli Does 'Not Approve' of Movie Starring Renée Zellweger as Her Mom Judy Garland," 14 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

14 Jun 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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