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

IMD Monsoon rains are the biggest source of rainwater in India. Kuwar Singh, Quartz India, "Mapped: How parched is India?," 3 June 2019 There are solar panels, a desalination plant, and a cistern to collect the rainwater that holds half a million gallons. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Inside Tory Burch’s Lovingly Restored Antigua Getaway," 15 Aug. 2018 By holding onto some rainwater that falls on roofs, hits the gutters and flows into downspouts, residents can divert it from the street or yard, helping minimize flash flooding. Susan Langenhennig, NOLA.com, "5 simple things homeowners can do to fight flooding and improve drainage," 10 Jan. 2018 Images of fairground lights and muddy rainwater rushing down gutters, for instance, are indistinguishable from footage shot with a camera. N.b., The Economist, "“Toy Story 4” is another enjoyable, nostalgic adventure," 21 June 2019 Part of that is getting more water to seep into the soil by physically disturbing it in some way and planting more native plants in those areas — native plants that rely on Arizona’s sparse rainwater and don’t need much upkeep. AZCentral.com, "Summer storms are a spectacle, but the dust in them is hazardous to your health," 18 June 2019 All rainwater from the drain pipes is used to irrigate the factory’s gardens. Sheryl Julian, BostonGlobe.com, "A tiny factory in southern Spain fries potato chips in award-winning olive oil for chef Jose Andres," 10 June 2019 The communities would be sustained as much as possible with local solar and other renewable energy, recirculating water and rainwater, and local food production. Andrew Revkin, National Geographic, "Floating cities could ease the world’s housing crunch, the UN says," 5 Apr. 2019 Hiding like mice in your huts with your ten bullets and rusty rainwater. Paul Yoon, Harper's magazine, "Run Me to Earth," 10 Mar. 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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9 Jul 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

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