rain·​fall | \ ˈrān-ˌfȯl \

Definition of rainfall

1 : the amount of precipitation usually measured by the depth in inches

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of rainfall in a Sentence

This area has an average annual rainfall of 12 inches. an increase in annual rainfall

Recent Examples on the Web

That broke the record for the greatest rainfall amount ever recorded in the Lower 48 from a single storm, WeatherBug reported. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Houston streets flood again, dampening July 4th celebrations," 4 July 2018 Light rainfall is expected to douse Northern California again Wednesday and Thursday as a cold system from the Gulf of Alaska moves southeast. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Snow expected as low as 2,000 feet in coming storm to begin Wednesday | The Sacramento Bee," 23 Jan. 2018 Scientists say climate change likely boosted rainfall totals for both storms. Seth Borenstein, The Seattle Times, "Florence is nation’s second wettest storm, behind Harvey," 25 Sep. 2018 This should only amplify rainfall totals as the storm's core remains offshore, with access to warm Atlantic waters to regenerate rain-making bands of precipitation. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The Hurricane Florence forecast has gone from bad to worse," 12 Sep. 2018 Climate change has altered rainfall patterns across the globe. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Climate Change Will Bring Us Heavy Rains and Droughts at the Same Time," 14 Dec. 2018 Record rainfall had raised its surface 35 feet, flooding cabins and marinas into a muddy inland sea. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Texas Lake Developed a Boat-Swallowing Whirlpool," 3 Sep. 2018 Jason Kirk, Jacksonville District Commander for the Corps, especially when the lake’s levels swelled with May’s record-breaking rainfall. Alex Harris, miamiherald, "Army Corps can’t promise 2016’s algae blooms won’t return, but this strategy may help," 12 July 2018 Plants do not grow easily in Doha, which gets about three inches of rainfall per year. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "The 2022 World Cup Plants Some Trees and Prepares to Step Into the Spotlight," 12 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of rainfall

1817, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rainfall

Statistics for rainfall

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rainfall

The first known use of rainfall was in 1817

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rainfall



English Language Learners Definition of rainfall

: the amount of rain that falls on a particular area


rain·​fall | \ ˈrān-ˌfȯl \

Kids Definition of rainfall

2 : amount of precipitation Their average annual rainfall is 80 centimeters.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on rainfall

What made you want to look up rainfall? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!