noun, often attributive
\ ˈrān How to pronounce rain (audio) \

Definition of rain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : water falling in drops condensed from vapor in the atmosphere
b : the descent of this water
c : water that has fallen as rain : rainwater
2a : a fall of rain : rainstorm
b rains plural : the rainy season
3 : rainy weather
4 : a heavy fall a rain of arrows


rained; raining; rains

Definition of rain (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to send down rain
2 : to fall as water in drops from the clouds
3 : to fall like rain soot and ash rained down

transitive verb

1 : to pour down
2 : to give or administer abundantly rained blows on his head
rain cats and dogs
: to rain heavily

Examples of rain in a Sentence

Noun The weatherman forecasts rain for this afternoon. Everyone went inside when the rain began to fall. What the garden needs is a good, soaking rain. A light rain began to fall. There has been some flooding due to the recent heavy rains. We've had a week of rain. The rains came and flooded the valley. Verb Sparks from the fireworks rained on the field. The volcano rained ashes on the city. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That, coupled with lack of rain in Brazil, another major exporter, and there’s a short supply coming out of South America. Washington Post, 11 May 2022 Skies could yield a chance of rain with odds at 10%. Joe Mario Pedersen, Orlando Sentinel, 11 May 2022 The half-hour ceremony, which in case of rain will be moved to St. John Bosco on Pearl Road, marks a first for Parma Heights. John Benson, cleveland, 10 May 2022 After weeks of drought, the single night of rain brought more tragedy to Safiya Abdullahi, a goat and camel herder in Somaliland. David Bruckmeier, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 May 2022 Despite the pouring rain on Mother’s Day, dozens of mothers and their supporters gathered at Woodstock Park and walked to Gov. Kate Brown’s house nearby. oregonlive, 8 May 2022 About 2 inches of rain has fallen since Friday morning, yet the low-lying course near the Potomac River has held up well enough to avoid any delays in play. Ben Nuckols, Baltimore Sun, 8 May 2022 Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the low 60s around the Kentucky Derby's post time of 6:57 p.m. ET, but the sun is likely to be shining with only a 20 percent chance of rain at that hour. Alex Kay, Forbes, 7 May 2022 On the second weekend of April 2020, barely a month into California’s COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, Lee Nora Glover-Holloway arranged a tent in the pouring rain in her front yard. Lou Bustamante, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb International condemnation continued to rain down on Moscow yesterday as capitals around the world attempted to process what took place in Bucha, where the Russian military apparently carried out atrocities on Ukrainian civilians. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 5 Apr. 2022 The Moscow rally came as Russian troops continued to rain lethal fire on Ukrainian cities, including the capital, Kyiv, and pounded an aircraft repair installation on the outskirts of Lviv, close to the Polish border. Cara Anna, The Christian Science Monitor, 18 Mar. 2022 And, this darn plague continues to rain down gloom and doom. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 14 Feb. 2022 Once vaporized, the molecules rise through the mantle again and form new crystals which continue to rain down. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 17 Jan. 2022 While the mountains will first experience snow, temperatures will slowly rise through the higher elevations, leading to a changeover to rain. Haley Brink, CNN, 27 Feb. 2022 Sanctions continue to rain on Roman Abramovich’s parade. John Hyatt, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2022 But most of the seats were filled in time to rain lusty boos on the night’s opponents, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and joyous cheers on the hometown heroes during player introductions. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Apr. 2022 Pollen update: The most recent pollen count was incomplete thanks to rain, but tree pollen was reported to be moderate/high nonetheless. Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of rain


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for rain


Middle English reyn, from Old English regn, rēn; akin to Old High German regan rain

Learn More About rain

Time Traveler for rain

Time Traveler

The first known use of rain was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near rain



rain area

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Statistics for rain

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rain. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for rain


\ ˈrān How to pronounce rain (audio) \

Kids Definition of rain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : water falling in drops from the clouds
2 : a fall of water in drops from the clouds
3 : rainy weather "Are you going to sleep out in all this rain?"— E. B. White, Stuart Little
4 : a heavy fall of objects


rained; raining

Kids Definition of rain (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to fall as water in drops from the clouds
2 : to send down rain The clouds rained for days.
3 : to fall in large amounts Ashes rained from the volcano.
4 : to give in large amounts Friends rained advice on me.
rain cats and dogs

More from Merriam-Webster on rain

Nglish: Translation of rain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rain


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