rain·​mak·​er | \ ˈrān-ˌmā-kər How to pronounce rainmaker (audio) \

Definition of rainmaker

1 : a person who produces or attempts to produce rain by artificial means
2 : a person (such as a partner in a law firm) who brings in new business also : a person whose influence can initiate progress or ensure success

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rainmaker

rainmaking \ ˈrān-​ˌmā-​kiŋ How to pronounce rainmaking (audio) \ noun

Examples of rainmaker in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Paying the bills without paying regular visits to the seaside homes and penthouse apartments of rainmakers turns out to be a lot harder than many candidates hoped. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, "Small donors don’t cut it for many Democratic candidates. Back to the rich," 4 Sep. 2019 The storm is predicted to be a massive rainmaker, unloading double digit rainfall totals that will likely trigger serious inland flooding. al.com, "Tropical storm in gulf could bring Louisiana 18 inches of rain," 10 July 2019 Barry has been a rainmaker above all else and continues to be as of Sunday afternoon. Leigh Morgan, al.com, "Barry downgraded to a tropical depression but still producing heavy rain," 14 July 2019 Cloud computing has been a rainmaker for the semiconductor industry, but there are still some dry patches. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Cloud Gathers Over Chip Makers," 28 Apr. 2019 The United States has a booming commercial space industry, and SpaceX, the rainmaker of the industry, has its own plans to build a giant rocket and fly tourists around the moon. CNN, "NASA estimates it will need $20 to $30 billion for Moon landing, administrator says," 13 June 2019 Source: Dealogic The bank has historically relied on the power of its national brand and deep lending relationships to drum up business, rather than cultivating a culture of superstar rainmakers. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Bank of America Is Missing Out on Wall Street’s Boom," 13 Oct. 2018 The Latest on Tropical Storm Lane's impact on Hawaii (all times local): 5 p.m. Tropical Storm Lane ranks as the No. 2 rainmaker from a tropical cyclone in the United States since 1950. Fox News, "The Latest: Tropical Storm Lane 2nd wettest since 1950," 27 Aug. 2018 Steyer is the billionaire hedge fund manager and liberal rainmaker. Neil Vigdor, courant.com, "David Stemerman's U.S. Hedge Fund Holdings Shrank Before His Run For Governor," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rainmaker.' 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 rainmaker

1775, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rainmaker

Statistics for rainmaker

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rainmaker

The first known use of rainmaker was in 1775

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rainmaker



Financial Definition of rainmaker

What It Is

A rainmaker is a successful salesperson or other individual who generates significant revenue for a company.

How It Works

Let's say John Doe is a salesman for Company XYZ. He has a lead on a potential customer, Company ABC, which he has been cultivating for six months. John's sales methods involve calling on potential customers at certain times, providing product information in a certain format, and making sure to form a bond with the right vice presidents. He also has significant travel and entertainment expenses to wine and dine potential clients. As a result of these methods and planning, John's sales numbers are twice that of the other salespeople in the organization, and he brought in 20% of Company XYZ's revenue last year. John is a rainmaker.

Why It Matters

Rainmakers are valuable employees. They often make much more than other employees, both because they receive a percentage of their sales in commissions and because their companies want to keep them around.

Being a rainmaker means being willing to work long hours, dealing with a lot of rejection, being persistent, being educated and being a leader.

Source: Investing Answers


rain·​mak·​er | \ ˈrān-ˌmā-kər How to pronounce rainmaker (audio) \

Legal Definition of rainmaker

: a person (as a partner in a law firm) who brings in new business

Other Words from rainmaker

rainmaking noun

More from Merriam-Webster on rainmaker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rainmaker

Comments on rainmaker

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


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!