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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As the cold front moves in from the Midwest Thursday afternoon, rain showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop the same evening in the Appalachian Mountains, near the Mason-Dixon Line, the forecasters predicted. Alex Mann, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland weather: Showers, thunderstorms Thursday backed up by powerful gusts Friday, forecasters say," 29 Apr. 2021 Temperatures in the Phoenix area were expected to be in the upper 70s and low 80s moving into Monday and Tuesday with some rain showers, Hodges said. Audrey Jensen, The Arizona Republic, "Wind advisory, red flag warning issued for northern Arizona Saturday and Sunday," 24 Apr. 2021 The National Weather Service says some parts of Massachusetts are seeing light snow and rain showers. BostonGlobe.com, "Some areas are getting a little touch of snow," 22 Apr. 2021 After a pleasant day Monday, expect mostly cloudy conditions Tuesday before rain showers and snow return. Mike Rose, cleveland, "Colder with a mix of rain and snow: Northeast Ohio’s Tuesday weather forecast," 19 Apr. 2021 The weekend’s heat will be followed rain showers and storms Monday and Tuesday as a cold front pushes down the state, Baxter said. Eileen Kelley, sun-sentinel.com, "Be prepared to sweat. South Florida is in for another scorcher Sunday," 17 Apr. 2021 Some rain showers may move in before sunset, but a better risk for some of that happens overnight. Washington Post, "PM Update: Remaining cool through Saturday before a Sunday warm-up," 16 Apr. 2021 Meteorologists have forecast that Wednesday will usher in cooler temperatures and rounds of rain showers that could linger for the rest of the week. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After 81-degree day, cooler weather, rain expected for rest of week in Wisconsin; thunderstorms possible," 6 Apr. 2021 As expected, all rain showers remained south of Waco. Dallas News, "Warm and windy week ahead," 4 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Carpenter, a native Hoosier, understands all too well the wild variability of Indiana weather – and particularly rain – in springtime and the need both as an IndyCar driver and team owner of flexibility and prioritization come running around IMS. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "Ed Carpenter Racing weathers highs, lows of first Indy 500 test day at IMS," 9 Apr. 2021 Fling your arm as far back as possible, then swing it across your chest to rain down deliverance at imaginary batters with no prayer against you. Los Angeles Times, "Column: The Gospel of Fernandomania: Forty years later, Fernando Valenzuela still a Mexican American icon," 7 Apr. 2021 Friday night’s series opener was postponed due to snow and rain. Ken Powtak, ajc, "New-look Red Sox top White Sox 7-4, Gonzalez HR starts rally," 18 Apr. 2021 While not intending to rain on Martin Jarmond’s and UCLA basketball’s postseason optimism, the ancient truism that past results do not guarantee future performance must be new to the Bruin AD and fellow UCLA fanatics. Los Angeles Times, "Letters: Hot Dodgers are always a hot topic," 17 Apr. 2021 The February attack even saw rockets rain down on residential areas outside the airport. Paul Iddon, Forbes, "The New Threat Of Drone Attacks On Iraqi Kurdistan’s Erbil," 17 Apr. 2021 This will allow for a transition from snow to rain as the precipitation continues to move east. Jackson Dill And Monica Garrett, CNN, "Say it isn't snow! Winter-like weather is forecast into next week," 16 Apr. 2021 The Swift faithful were already threatening to rain down damnation on anyone caught sneaking an audio peek at the old version after midnight. Chris Willman, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Taylor Swift turns on a facsimile machine for ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ and its ingenious recreations," 9 Apr. 2021 This is the scene that has unfolded on the Queens corridor almost every day since May — rain or shine — as part of the city’s Open Streets program. Caroline Spivack, Curbed, "Volunteers Are Actually the Ones Funding Open Streets Programs. Why Isn’t the City?," 7 Apr. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for rain

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for rain

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rain. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for rain



English Language Learners Definition of rain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: water that falls in drops from clouds in the sky
: weather in which there is a lot of rain : rainy weather
: large amounts of rain that fall at a particular time of year



English Language Learners Definition of rain (Entry 2 of 2)

used with it to say that rain is falling
: to fall from above in large amounts
: to cause (something) to fall in large amounts


\ 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

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Comments on rain

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