rain·​wa·​ter | \ˈrān-ˌwȯ-tər, -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, -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

There were wastebaskets catching rainwater seeping through the ceiling, cardboard and wood chips and carpets meant to soak up days worth of dampness at Pimlico Race Course. Melissa Hoppert, New York Times, "Justify Wins the Preakness, Keeping Alive Hopes for a Triple Crown," 19 May 2018 By collecting rainwater and using wind power to produce electricity, the tiny home becomes its own self-supporting house. Rachel Swalin, ELLE Decor, "The Ark Shelter May Just Be The Most Stylish Tiny House On The Planet," 7 Mar. 2017 Its water system is able to capture rainwater and generate potable water from the humidity lingering in the air. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Tiny house from UN Environment and Yale raises the bar for eco-living," 11 July 2018 That rainwater has soaked into the soil where plants’ roots can absorb it and pass it up to their leaves for cooling purposes. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "What does scorching heat mean for trees and plants?," 3 July 2018 Typically, rainwater percolated through the turf into a small grid of pipes underneath. Sara Cardine, latimes.com, "LCHS football field gets drainage upgrade after rains gang up on gridiron," 13 June 2018 Weathering can involve both physical breakdown—which is accelerated when rocks are thrust upward and exposed to the elements as mountain ranges—and chemical dissolution, such as when acidic rainwater reacts with compounds in rocks. Doug Main, Scientific American, "Mystery of Earth's Missing Nitrogen Solved," 29 May 2018 Basements get wet when rainwater runs toward the walls of houses from roofs, yards, and driveways. Kevin Brasler, Philly.com, "Solve a wet basement by fixing the problem, not managing it," 1 May 2018 Sinkholes appear when rainwater loosens sediment beneath the ground; Washington D.C.’s (literal) swampiness appears to make the city vulnerable to this phenomenon. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Sinkhole/Possible Metaphor Appears Outside White House," 22 May 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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12 Nov 2018

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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, -ˌwä-\

Kids Definition of rainwater

: water from rain

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Comments on rainwater

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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