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


a bucket filled with rainwater

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Nabor Carrillo absorbed rainwaters and prevented dust storms, part of a larger 1970s reclamation plan known as The Lake Texcoco Project. Mark Stevenson, Fox News, "Protesters: New Mexico City airport will hurt environment," 23 Aug. 2018 Brackish groundwater would seep out of the walls to fill the trench, which also provided a handy way to catch rainwater. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "How did Easter Islanders survive without wells or streams?," 17 Oct. 2018 They can be used as a tent, as ground cover, to catch rainwater, to patch holes, for a trap, and even to drag back heavy animals. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "What doomsday preppers are buying this Black Friday," 21 Nov. 2018 Lake Harney — along with lakes Jesup and Monroe — are fed by the St. Johns River, which collects rainwater from as far south as Indian River County and flows northward. Martin E. Comas, OrlandoSentinel.com, "East Seminole County residents keep nervous eye on rising St. Johns," 9 July 2018 Lane said there is another advantage to collecting rainwater. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Hamilton County goes old-school green with rain barrels," 19 Apr. 2018 Syrian refugees standing in mud and rainwater at a refugee camp in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley on Thursday. Nazih Osseiran, WSJ, "Syrian Refugees Suffer as Winter Storms Devastate Lebanese Camps," 11 Jan. 2019 Mopey and alone, Sam goes about his daily tasks such as washing in rainwater and soulfully playing the drums. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Review: In ‘The Night Eats the World,’ Zombie Apocalypse Now, Again," 12 July 2018 Shifting to local sources of materials, like rainwater and compost, would drop the energy use dramatically, shifting the farms into territory that's typically considered sustainable. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Urban farms could be incredibly efficient—but aren’t yet," 27 Dec. 2018

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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14 May 2019

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

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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).


a strong desire or propensity

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