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 There are the sumptuous burials of 37 sacred macaws, the gorgeous, red, blue yellow and green parrots, brought here from southern climes, and likely bred for their rainbow of resplendent sacred feathers. Jim Robbins, New York Times, "Searching for the Ancestral Puebloans," 6 Nov. 2019 The best lures are often the blue-purple Humdinger, Needlefish in rainbow (bright days) or cop car (when overcast). Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Everything you need to know to visit Lake Berryessa in fall," 18 Oct. 2019 Choose from a rainbow of colors for each and every part. Meghan Kavanaugh, USA TODAY, "25 personalized gift ideas for every type of person," 15 Oct. 2019 Available in a veritable rainbow of hues, bricks can go old-school, modern or anything in between. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "How to Choose to the Right Material For Your Walkway or Patio," 10 Oct. 2019 In contrast, The Event Company's lucite tables and chairs added a contemporary touch to the rainbow of wildflower centerpieces. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "It's a modern, musical world at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's $1.9 million Grand Gala Ball," 7 Oct. 2019 Then choose from the rainbow of ties, pocket squares, and socks. orlandosentinel.com, "2019 Orlando Sentinel Best Bets: Shopping winners," 6 Oct. 2019 Along with a rainbow of shoe colors to choose from, the sneakers also feature a eco-friendly use of materials. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Reformation and New Balance Collaborated on Sustainable Sneakers," 3 Oct. 2019 As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, Colorado turns into a rainbow of lively colors — the golden-yellow aspens, the fiery-red maples, the bright-orange pumpkins, all set against the backdrop of a vibrant blue sky. Sarah Kuta, The Know, "Pumpkins, cider and amorous elk: A guide to Colorado fall festivals," 21 Sep. 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

15 Nov 2019

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
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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