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 bay is only as healthy as the land around it: Fertilizer from farms, pollution and rainwater from roads and housing developments, and wastewater management are all factors feeding into watershed health, experts told me. Melody Schreiber, The New Republic, "Can Oysters Save Our Seas?," 6 Jan. 2021 Under a highway overpass in downtown Oakland, Camilla Everette sleeps on a couch, with a blue-and-white-striped summer parasol offering the only protection from the drops of rainwater that fall from the concrete above her. New York Times, "Isolation Helps Homeless Population Escape Worst of Virus," 23 Dec. 2020 Hands-on water projects range from fixing leaky faucets and toilets, washing only full loads of laundry and using sprinklers on minimal settings before 8 a.m. to collecting rainwater, planting a tree and participating in a neighborhood cleanup. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Oceanside takes 2nd place in nationwide conservation contest," 20 Oct. 2020 Drought is creeping back onto the maps and Minnesota could use a good swig of rainwater right about now. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "One of the Best Weeks of 2020 for MN? Tropical Storm Delta Develops," 5 Oct. 2020 The house also features a rainwater catchment system. Steve Bittenbender, Washington Examiner, "Kentucky ranks high for off-the-grid living potential," 28 Dec. 2020 Thanh Nguyen, a fire captain with the agency, said a rescue team used a boat to reach the man and woman, who were found hanging on to the tunnel to avoid being swept by away rainwater. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, "Rain, hail, snow battered Southern California as powerful storm hit," 28 Dec. 2020 Open-air trash presents environmental and safety hazards — rainwater can flush toxins from the trash pile into the city’s waterways, and wind can blow gusts of toxic dust and smells into neighborhoods. Washington Post, "Problems at D.C.’s trash transfer stations include structural damage and coronavirus," 22 Dec. 2020 But with phosphorus pellets sitting in the upper inch or two of the soil, the phosphorus dissolves and washes into the lake whenever the soil becomes saturated with rainwater. Tim Folger, National Geographic, "North America’s most valuable resource is at risk," 17 Nov. 2020

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

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rainwater.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rainwater. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on rainwater

Nglish: Translation of rainwater for Spanish Speakers

Comments on rainwater

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