rain·​wa·​ter | \ ˈrān-ˌwȯ-tər How to pronounce rainwater (audio) , -ˌwä- \

Definition of rainwater

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: water fallen as rain that has not collected soluble matter from the soil and is therefore soft


biographical name
Rain·​wa·​ter | \ ˈrān-ˌwȯ-tər How to pronounce Rainwater (audio) , -ˌwä- \

Definition of Rainwater (Entry 2 of 2)

L(eo) James 1917–1986 American physicist

Examples of rainwater in a Sentence

Noun a bucket filled with rainwater
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The females come out of the ground once a year, just before the rainy season, to lay their eggs in low-lying areas that will traditionally fill with rainwater, where the eggs will hatch and larvae will develop. Josh Baugh, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio scientist works to save endangered salamander in southeastern U.S.," 8 July 2019 Union Ridge Elementary District 86 will install a new main parking lot with permeable pavers that will prevent rainwater from flooding into streets and the school’s basement, Superintendent Mike Maguire said. Taylor Hartz, chicagotribune.com, "Union Ridge will replace parking lot with permeable pavers under MWRD Green Infrastructure Partnership," 15 Nov. 2019 Tree canopies intercept and store a portion of rainwater that never reaches the ground as runoff. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Saturday: 500 free trees available in The Market at Springwoods Village," 14 Nov. 2019 The fault lines running through the site probably directed melting snow and rainwater to the high-altitude outpost providing water. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Research Suggests Machu Picchu Was Purposely Built On Top of Intersecting Fault Lines," 25 Sep. 2019 Plants and trees grow better with rainwater than tap water because tap water contains salt. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Tanks, swales put rainwater to eco-friendly use," 11 July 2019 Get rid of tin cans, old tires, buckets or other containers that collect and hold rainwater. Julie Washington, cleveland, "Heartworm, Eastern equine encephalitis FAQ: Is there a vaccine? What are symptoms?," 20 Oct. 2019 Despite subsisting on rainwater at three weeks, the emaciated pup managed to survive. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "WATCH: A Month Later, Florida Rescue Group Finds “Miracle” Dog Trapped Beneath Rubble of Hurricane Dorian," 11 Oct. 2019 The dog had survived only on rainwater that filled a hole in front of him after the hurricane, so rescuers gave him some fluids to stabilize him before the hour-long flight. Marisa Iati, Washington Post, "A puppy trapped by Hurricane Dorian was found alive a month later," 7 Oct. 2019

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for rainwater

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

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Statistics for rainwater

Last Updated

10 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Rainwater.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rainwater. Accessed 16 December 2019.

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More Definitions for rainwater


How to pronounce Rainwater (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rainwater

: water that falls as rain


rain·​wa·​ter | \ ˈrān-ˌwȯ-tər How to pronounce rainwater (audio) , -ˌwä- \

Kids Definition of rainwater

: water from rain

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More from Merriam-Webster on rainwater

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rainwater

Spanish Central: Translation of rainwater

Nglish: Translation of rainwater for Spanish Speakers

Comments on rainwater

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


having a smooth flowing sound

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