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


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.


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

Mercado hit a two-run shot and Francisco Lindor added a two-run double in a five-run second inning, as Cleveland bolted to a 7-0 lead through three before the game was halted by rain for 2 hours, 7 minutes. Brian Dulik, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers limited to one hit in 8-0 loss vs. 4 Cleveland pitchers," 17 July 2019 There was less rain this year over the Memorial Day and Independence Day holiday weekends which put more boaters on the waterways. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "Alabama suffers 25 boating deaths in 2019, the deadliest year on state waters since 1998," 17 July 2019 The grandstand was full and the gallery framed the entire par 3, despite heavy clouds that began to darken with the promise of more rain at Royal Portrush. Doug Ferguson, BostonGlobe.com, "Rory McIlroy the center of attention at Royal Portrush," 17 July 2019 Cooler weather and increasing rain chances may bring relief from the heat early next week thanks to an approaching cold front. Dallas News, "NBC 5 Forecast: Summer heat continues," 17 July 2019 Harvey dumped as much as 60 inches of rain on Houston and Beaumont metro areas and claimed 68 lives. Houston Chronicle, "Report: EPA fell short reaching “vulnerable communities” hit by Harvey," 16 July 2019 More than a hundred people have died and millions were forced to leave their homes as monsoon rains have devastated parts of India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Amy Gunia, Time, "Millions Displaced as Monsoon Floods Hit India, Nepal and Bangladesh," 16 July 2019 Remember a few weeks ago when everyone was complaining about too much rain? Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "'Oppressive' heat and humidity hitting Louisville area through the weekend," 16 July 2019 Pittman's hurricane videos have become a hurricane-season YouTube ritual - a rain dance in defiance of the weather. Author: Logan Hill, Anchorage Daily News, "Is it OK to laugh at Florida Man?," 16 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Boos rained down on him in pregame introductions and on every defensive play and plate appearance. Maria Torres, Los Angeles Times, "Angels hit Jake Marisnick and don’t back down from Astros as win streak reaches five," 16 July 2019 At this point, the hail either rains down or, if the updrafts are strong enough, travels back up into the clouds to start the process all over again, growing in size until the swirling air can no longer support its weight. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "A Summer Hailstorm Buried the Mexican City of Guadalajara Under Ice," 2 July 2019 Its clouds rain methane and its surface temperature is around -290 degrees Fahrenheit. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, "NASA to send flying drone Dragonfly to Saturn moon Titan," 27 June 2019 On May 1 in Kiev, as invisible fallout rained down, children in shirtsleeves marched past reviewing stands that usually held Soviet officials. Mona Charen, National Review, "Lessons of Chernobyl," 7 June 2019 Other videos showed the girls enjoying time at multiple clubs, having a bevy of drinks and Cartwright holding tons of dollar bills as even more rained down around her. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Vanderpump Rules Cast Celebrates Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright's Bachelor/Bachelorette Bash," 6 June 2019 The lunar rocks ultimately tell us of a violent chapter in solar system history, when a period known as the Late Heavy Bombardment rained down space rocks, heavily scarring the inner planets. Korey Haynes, Discover Magazine, "Legacy of Lunar Data: How Apollo Revealed our Moon," 20 May 2019 Whether shots rained in from distance or close range, Begovic would almost always save the day. SI.com, "Throwback: The 50 Best Bargains You've Ever Picked Up in FIFA Ultimate Team," 19 June 2019 As golden confetti rained from the rafters, Tyler succumbed his joyous tears and his mom jumped for joy in the wings before running out to embrace her son. Rebecca Angel Baer, Southern Living, "Watch This 11-Year-Old North Carolina Boy’s Golden Moment from America’s Got Talent," 12 June 2019

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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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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More from Merriam-Webster on rain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rain

Spanish Central: Translation of rain

Nglish: Translation of rain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rain

Comments on rain

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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