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 However, the passing game was hampered by the torrential rain. Giana Han, al, "Auburn receivers need to ‘mesh’ and ‘execute’ to open up passing game," 15 Oct. 2020 The latest blazes began Sunday, and have since been fueled by little rain, high temperatures and strong winds. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "The Glass and Zogg Fires are less than 10% contained and threaten even more destruction," 1 Oct. 2020 Sudanese officials declared on Sept. 5 a three-month state of emergency after flooding caused by unusually heavy seasonal rain killed roughly 100 people and injured nearly 50 as more than 100,000 homes collapsed. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "'Funding to respond is extremely low': UN aid to Sudan running out amid worst flooding in decades," 29 Sep. 2020 The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 39 minutes by rain. sun-sentinel.com, "Lopez, Kintzler shine as Marlins avoid sweep in Atlanta; Miami can clinch Friday," 25 Sep. 2020 Chile’s vast Atacama desert, once largely submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean, is now a moonscape of sand and stone with parts untouched by rain for years. NBC News, "Remains of Jurassic sea predator found in Chile's Atacama desert," 24 Sep. 2020 While lightning causes the threat of more fires, it was joined by rain. Katrina Nattress, refinery29.com, "What It’s Like To Be A New Mom In Oregon During The Wildfires," 22 Sep. 2020 David Espinosa walked the streets of Pascagoula, Mississippi, Tuesday afternoon, drenched by the rain. Arkansas Online, "'Huge rainmaker': Hurricane Sally threatens historic floods," 15 Sep. 2020 Metro New Orleans remained under a hurricane warning with potential wind speeds of up to 95 mph and flash floods caused by prolonged rain from the slow-moving storm. Anthony Mcauley | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Ahead of Hurricane Sally, power companies in Louisiana shift resources from Laura restorations," 14 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Due to Earth's rotation, stars appear to rain down on the Volcán de Fuego (fire volcano) in Guatemala. National Geographic, "What's behind the hurricanes and wildfires?," 26 Aug. 2020 Then as the weekend got going, the good news really began to rain down on Hollywood. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "Here’s The Insane Amount Of Celebrity Baby News You Missed This Weekend," 28 Sep. 2020 Even cities such as Seattle and Portland, which were lucky enough to get rain this past week, will not see the same luck for the upcoming week. Allison Chinchar And Haley Brink, CNN, "Heat wave, drought elevate wildfire threat in the West," 27 Sep. 2020 Catering to the needs of the top tier has caused a steady flow of commissions and fees to rain upon the world’s top private bankers and wealth management gurus. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "From bailout debacle to global dominance: Inside the turnaround at UBS," 21 Sep. 2020 The same candidates who rain in 2018, Brophy McGee and Democrat Christine Marsh, will face off again this year in something of a rematch. Andrew Oxford, The Arizona Republic, "This former GOP stronghold in Phoenix shows how Democrats are gaining ground in Arizona," 21 Sep. 2020 Wildfire smoke throughout Portland had begun to subside by Friday thanks to rain, allowing the Timbers to do short training sessions outdoors for the first time since hazardous air quality blanketed the city last week. oregonlive, "Diego Valeri scores a brace as Portland Timbers return to form, pummel San Jose Earthquakes 6-1," 19 Sep. 2020 College students who have participated in the program, and who are on break during the summer months and holidays, will often return to help rain the SWAT team members. al, "‘Coach Rich’ vows to rebuild aquatic center after Hurricane Sally destroyed it," 19 Sep. 2020 The rising temperatures, in turn, help speed up the transition from snow to rain. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "A New Arctic Is Emerging, Thanks to Climate Change," 15 Sep. 2020

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

27 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rain. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for rain


How to pronounce rain (audio)

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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