Definition of rain in English:

rain

noun

  • 1[mass noun] The condensed moisture of the atmosphere falling visibly in separate drops:

    ‘the rain had not stopped for days’
    ‘it's pouring with rain’
    • ‘Winter storms normally bring ordinary rain, freezing rain and sleet as well as snow.’
    • ‘Turning over, I saw rain falling in heavy drops outside of my window.’
    • ‘It was odd that not too far away, it was probably pouring rain, while it was humid and sunny where Kace stood.’
    • ‘Before long, heavy drops of rain began to pour on the barren landscape.’
    • ‘The wintry weather took on freakish proportions with torrential rain turning to sideways sleet as the blustery wind continued to create havoc.’
    • ‘Soon she felt the first drops of rain begin to fall, and within minutes she was soaked to the skin, her hair clinging heavily to her neck and back.’
    • ‘Bursts of fire would occasionally blossom, only to be later doused by a massive down pour of rain.’
    • ‘He looked up at the sky, and several more drops of rain fell on his face.’
    • ‘It poured with rain continually; there were floods in the north of the country.’
    • ‘Only pouring rain will stop me lighting a grill and cooking my kebabs in the open air, and it would probably take a hailstorm to prevent me from having breakfast in the garden.’
    • ‘The whole of the previous week had been glorious weather and then, yesterday, the temperature had dropped right down and freezing rain had poured down from the skies.’
    • ‘Pulled low on their heads were baseball caps; the constant drizzle of rain pouring off of the rims.’
    • ‘Almost as if imitating me, a large rumble of thunder echoed throughout the sky and large drops of rain began to fall, hard.’
    • ‘The hurricane is lashing the Florida Keys with torrential rain and storm surges now.’
    • ‘Weather effects like sand storms or heavy rain and snowfall shorten your units' line of sight and cut their air supply.’
    • ‘His hair and clothes were getting soaked as rain poured in through a large hole where part of the doors had been torn off.’
    • ‘The skies opened up and the cool September rain poured down in deluge upon the armory at Teaneck.’
    • ‘The Pyrenees are famous for their capricious showers, which pour rain and hail on one mountainside while another is bathed in sunlight.’
    • ‘Sure enough it began to drizzle rain followed with a downpour.’
    • ‘He said that it had been pouring with rain, there were thunder storms, and the tents designed for desert use were leaking and soaking wet through.’
    rainfall, precipitation, raindrops, rainwater, wet weather
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1rains Falls of rain:
      ‘the plants were washed away by unusually heavy rains’
      • ‘After their spring resurrection, they abound in temporary bodies of water left by the previous fall's rains and by melting snow.’
      • ‘The climate varies greatly from north to south, but rains fall throughout the country from December to April.’
      • ‘The Eastern Province Agricultural Union president welcomed the good rains which had fallen throughout the province.’
      • ‘Full rivers and overflowing dams have been reported in the northern region of the province as rains continue to fall.’
      • ‘Fall rains were scant, but of some benefit to a few farmers.’
      • ‘The drought loosened its grip in the southeastern States in November, and more emphatically so in January 1941, when heavy rains fell.’
      • ‘It may also be possible to reduce cloud cover by seeding clouds to cause rains to fall in areas where the water is needed.’
      • ‘This generated frequent heavy rains and fierce westerly gales: in some coastal areas there was significant wind damage as well as flooding.’
      • ‘During climate extremes, whether droughts or flooding rains, those on the land feel it most.’
      • ‘Heavy earth-moving equipment sent in to clear the mudflows are failing to make headway as torrential rains continue to fall in the region.’
      • ‘In July 1870 very heavy rains fell flooding many of the creeks and nearly twenty Aborigines drowned when the Kopperamanna Creek flooded.’
      • ‘Exceptionally good rains fell once more in 1889 giving much needed hope to farmers who had survived until that time.’
      • ‘It's that time of year - as March rains continue to fall - when many people start finalising plans for their summer holidays.’
      • ‘A high precipitation super-cell produces very heavy rains, large hail, downbursts and tornadoes.’
      • ‘Fall rains are sometimes unpredictable, even in the wettest climates.’
      • ‘The heavy rains over the past week continue to cause doubts about yet another summer like last year.’
      • ‘These provinces have the best rainfall, but steep gradients and poor farming ensure that, when rains do fall, rivers run brown.’
      • ‘The city's distinct terrain makes it particularly vulnerable to the storm surges, heavy rains and high winds of a hurricane.’
      • ‘Good general rains fell in 1996, easing the situation until the onset of the next El Niño in 1997.’
      • ‘La Niña dominated the period 1973-75, and the unusual rains continued.’
    2. 1.2[in singular] A large or overwhelming quantity of things that fall or descend:
      ‘he fell under the rain of blows’
      • ‘An expression might give way to a rain of thoughts.’
      • ‘The city motorway towards the south was transformed into a field of rubble by a rain of dust and bricks, which damaged numerous cars and injured their drivers.’
      • ‘Our planet is incessantly bombarded with a rain of cosmic rays, charged stable particles, such as protons and electrons.’
      • ‘The Cityboys formed a rough circle, ignoring the rain of lead that fell on them from above.’
      • ‘Few of us walk into the office to a rain of boos or are subjected nightly to the possibility of public failure and humiliation.’
      • ‘She ran out of the shroud of dust and towards the helicopters while dodging the rain of bullets that came behind.’
      • ‘I suppose Jin thinks I am a weeping waif, looking for a poor soul to shed her troubles on in a rain of sobs and runny noses.’
      • ‘If you're close enough, the first sound is that of an earsplitting blast and the sounds that follow are of a rain of glass, shrapnel and other sharp things.’
      • ‘This year, he received a strong response from his fans, but nothing like the rain of adulation he generated last year.’
      • ‘During the second day of competition, the rain of gold medals continued.’
      • ‘She gave him a pleading look that he answered with a rain of kisses.’
      • ‘At that point, a rain of fire and bullets hit us, shutting up forever the cheerful voices of a few minutes earlier.’
      • ‘And then there is Tessie, taking the rain of abuse and indignities with long-suffering resignation.’
      • ‘Most of them don't make past a few feet, knocked off by a constant rain of debris, but it is only a matter of time before some begin to reach the summit.’
      • ‘Her eyes popped in surprise as a rain of sparks cascaded from my hair.’
      • ‘Under a constant rain of enemy fire, my plane is hit again and again.’
      • ‘His hand went up to his face and before he had a chance to wonder what had caused it, a rain of small pebbles fell from the sky.’
      • ‘Then comes a rain of law suits - he is suing people for a hundred million rupees.’
      • ‘Within moments, all ran for cover as a rain of debris began falling.’
      • ‘Everyone hung their heads in reverence, and awaited the moment when the rain of meteors would came down.’
      shower, deluge, flood, torrent, spate, avalanche, outpouring, rush, flurry
      View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]it rains", "it is raining, etc.
  • 1 Rain falls:

    ‘it was beginning to rain’
    • ‘It is easiest to check for leaks and blockages when it is raining.’
    • ‘I hope it is raining when you are reading this column because I will be lying on a beach in Salou this week.’
    • ‘Water comes through the windows when it is raining.’
    • ‘It had stopped raining and clouds had cleared showing the sky's spectacular show of sparkling lights.’
    • ‘Now, a road makes the climb easier, but if it is raining or snowing, you still need some luck getting there.’
    • ‘Rainy season really started with a vengeance today, so the walk to the station was a little damp as it was raining and humid.’
    • ‘Summer ended today - yesterday I nearly wore my shorts out, and now it is raining outside and cold.’
    • ‘If it is raining out, most drivers will not pick you up, because they don't want a wet person in their car.’
    • ‘Being six foot two is not a good thing when it rains - you constantly run the risk of an umbrella jabbing into your neck or, worse, eye.’
    • ‘I worked in Lancashire for a few years, and in my first January there it rained every day.’
    • ‘Today it is raining and dark and well, not cold exactly, but I am wearing long pants and a jersey.’
    • ‘Here in the Washington, D.C. area, the weather has turned cold and it is raining.’
    • ‘There is no electric display telling you of the next station, but you do get a cheery conductor who can criticise the beautiful morning, when it is raining.’
    • ‘As usual the forecast was wrong and it rained all day but despite this, we had a very good time.’
    • ‘I fought in the snow barefoot to give you the freedom to vote and you stay at home because it rains.’
    • ‘Horses cannot be expected to play at their best when it rains every third day.’
    • ‘Sarah's lungs and immune system still have not developed properly and she is not allowed outside while it is raining, in case she catches pneumonia.’
    • ‘It was fantastic to be living there, apart from the fact it rained all week.’
    • ‘The best time to see the problem is when it is raining.’
    • ‘When air gets hot it rises, it turns into clouds and it starts raining.’
    pelt down, tip down, teem down, beat down, lash down, sheet down, come down, come down in sheets, come down in torrents, rain cats and dogs
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1literary (of the sky, the clouds, etc.) send down rain:
      ‘the low sky raining over tower'd Camelot’
      • ‘The skies thundered and rained, and its color was a combination of what seemed to be every color known to man.’
      • ‘I kept staring up, my head bent back and stared as the smoky gray clouds rained on me.’
      • ‘I have an image of my house with a small cloud continuously raining over it like the house where the Munster's lived.’
      • ‘It was an overcast day, the light hidden behind grey clouds that smothered the sky and threatened to rain.’
      • ‘Farther away, they could see a low patch of clouds in the sky that was raining.’
    2. 1.2[with adverbial of direction] Fall or cause to fall in large or overwhelming quantities:
      [no object] ‘bombs rained down’
      [with object] ‘she rained blows on to him’
      • ‘No one knows the total number, but upwards of 2000 Afghans fleeing the bombs and missiles raining down inside their country have come here.’
      • ‘He yelled at her while bullets were still raining down on him.’
      • ‘He began stomping his feet on the floor sending plaster raining down on the man and the woman.’
      • ‘Blows rained down on me from all sides and I fell to the floor under a merciless avalanche of abuse.’
      • ‘Trapped Rafah residents huddled in the innermost rooms of their homes as bullets rained outside.’
      • ‘A brass band played and confetti rained over the site after workers poured the last batch of concrete.’
      • ‘Fearing the worst, the victim curled into a ball to try to protect himself from the blows raining on him.’
      • ‘Unlike Kuiper belt comets, Oort cloud comets can rain down on the inner solar system from any angle and any direction.’
      • ‘The sun was hot by now, the wind had become brisk, and the melting edges sent mini-avalanches of gravel raining down.’
      • ‘He scrambled to lie flat on his stomach in the car while shards of debris rained from the skies.’
      • ‘The bombs will still be raining down there and terrified people on leaky boats will still be arriving.’
      • ‘The waiting drivers clap and cheer appreciatively, ducking the occasional piece of burning debris raining from the sky.’
      • ‘With bombs raining down about their heads and millions fighting on the battlefield, our grandparents knew where they were.’
      • ‘As we speak, people are forced to deal with our government in the form of bombs raining down on their homes.’
      • ‘It was November 19, 1940, and the bombs rained down for hours and hours.’
      • ‘As the fighting factions are physically restrained, the verbal blows rain down harder than ever.’
      • ‘But the next assault is just around the corner, and the band's talent for stringing out the quiet moments makes the next shower of blows rain down even harder.’
      • ‘But then the ship bucked as missiles rained from above.’
      • ‘As the bombs rained down I instinctively dropped to ground, the kids immediately followed suit.’
      • ‘Bombs burst from above like rolling cracks of thunder as shrapnel rained down from the sky, expended from death black clouds.’
      fall, pour down, rain down, drop, shower
      shower, pour, drop
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3it rains ——", "it is raining ——, etc.[with object] Used to convey that a specified thing is falling in large quantities:
      ‘it was just raining glass’
      • ‘Along with the gusty winds, torrential rains and the punishing power shutdowns, it rained snakes of all sizes and colours on the city.’
      • ‘I guess it was raining men in that decade of my mind.’
      • ‘After decades of drought, it seems it is raining democracy in this region.’
      • ‘It looks like it's raining crayons, as I wait for my elevator to arrive.’
      • ‘There were also outfits that let them kick their heels up ‘when it's raining men’.’
      • ‘Above was nothing, but a pale pink glow even as it rained flowers.’
      • ‘This night couldn't get any better if it rained rubies and diamonds.’

Phrases

  • be as right as rain

    • Be perfectly fit and well:

      ‘she'll be right as rain in a couple of days’
  • it never rains but it pours

    • proverb Misfortunes or difficult situations tend to follow each other in rapid succession or to arrive all at the same time.

      • ‘You know what they say though - it never rains but it pours.’
      • ‘When this fact is added to the rule of thumb that it never rains but it pours and the received wisdom that bad news comes in threes, the omens point to a particularly uncomfortable trip when Edinburgh travel to Toulouse next weekend.’
      • ‘Farmers need little convincing at present of the truth of the saying that it never rains but it pours.’
      • ‘I never had an injury before in my life, but it's true what they say about injuries, it never rains but it pours.’
      • ‘That was when Anderson was to learn that in Scotland it never rains but it pours.’
      • ‘In terms of troubles, however, it would appear that in shintyland it never rains but it pours.’
  • rain cats and dogs

    • Rain very hard.

      • ‘‘Thank goodness we're not out there,’ said Tom, hugging his knees to his chest, ‘its raining cats and dogs in the city!’’
      • ‘‘It'll be raining cats and dogs in a minute ‘she muttered to herself.’’
      • ‘The first barricaded suspect situation I attended was, as I recall, on a dark and stormy night, in fact it was raining cats and dogs.’
      • ‘It just started raining cats and dogs, so I doesn't look like I'll be going anytime soon.’
      • ‘It might rain cats and dogs during the few monsoon days of the city, but water supply during summer months is still a suspect issue.’
      • ‘‘It was dry an hour before the race, and then the skies opened up and it rained cats and dogs,’ Kim told them a few minutes after the race.’
      • ‘No kind of threats, cajoling or convincing can get a line-man to scamper up an electric post or poke at a blown fuse when it is raining cats and dogs.’
      • ‘I already told you it was raining cats and dogs and I'm worried that the computer is going to crash or that the power is going to go off.’
      • ‘It had been raining cats and dogs from morning and they must have known before hand that the wet weather posed a danger of shock or slipping on stage.’
      • ‘It was raining cats and dogs, and my bike had died on me.’
      pelt down, tip down, teem down, beat down, lash down, sheet down, come down, come down in sheets, come down in torrents, rain cats and dogs
      View synonyms
  • rain on someone's parade

    • informal Prevent someone from enjoying an event; spoil someone's plans.

      • ‘Your guesswork is wrong, and I don't mean to rain on your parade, but it is.’
      • ‘I hate to rain on your parade, but I don't think your analysis of the red cell photos in your July 22 commentary is correct.’
      • ‘I hate to rain on your parade, Sadie, but have you thought about the fact that maybe you just want him because you can't have him now?’
      • ‘I didn't want to rain on his parade, so I kept my mouth shut about my frustrated dream of becoming a marine biologist.’
      • ‘Well, Dawnie, I don't want to rain on your parade, but isn't it kind of a lot at once?’
      • ‘The space agency is anxiously awaiting its first manned flight in two and a half years, but will weather rain on NASA's parade?’
      • ‘We're not raining on your parade just because it's illegal; it's also dangerous for your computer.’
      • ‘You just seemed so enthusiastic about the whole thing, and I didn't want to rain on your parade.’
      • ‘‘You look like someone just rained on your parade,’ Bianca said, hugging me.’
      • ‘Unfortunately several things can go wrong to rain on your parade.’
  • (come) rain or shine

    • Whether it rains or not; whatever the weather:

      ‘he runs six miles every morning, rain or shine’
      • ‘He found it amusing to see people rush throughout their daily lives and hardly stop to appreciate the day, weather rain or shine.’
      • ‘Nearly 100 years old, Wanderlust meets a few times a month on different paths and trails, traversing the city's unique landscape rain or shine.’
      • ‘Every Wednesday, rain or shine, a minimal cover charge allows you to support local and regional musicians while enjoying a lazy summer evening in picturesque settings.’
      • ‘Activities will be going down all day, rain or shine, and there will be plenty of opportunities to chow down on wild boar sausages, haggis, Irish stew and many other Celtic fun foods.’
      • ‘Come rain or shine, Ballinakill outdoor heated swimming pool continues to attract swimming enthusiasts.’
      • ‘There are any number of good medicine walks right at the front door, flat, easy going and devastatingly beautiful in any weather, rain or shine.’
      • ‘Come rain or shine, wind or hail, there has been a steaming cup of fresh coffee waiting to spur postmen on their dawn deliveries around Scarborough seafront each morning since 1946.’
      • ‘We went to school, rain or shine, and the school didn't shut down, either.’
      • ‘Every Thursday morning, come rain or shine, she arrives at the Congregational Hall to help keep about 20 youngsters safe, happy and entertained.’
      • ‘They play every Sunday morning, rain or shine, often getting more people out playing when the weather's bad than good.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • be rained off (or north americanout)

    • (of an event) be cancelled or terminated because of rain:

      ‘the match was rained off’
      • ‘It was just a shame last week's match against Coventry was rained off because they needed the run-out.’
      • ‘A little rain this morning followed by some sun tempted us out to Wimborne for a look around the market which was seriously curtailed as we were rained off.’
      • ‘Detailed weather communication might have saved him some angst; the sprint car event was rained out and rescheduled for July 19.’
      • ‘If the second match was rained off, but the third final went ahead, that would decide a 2-0 series winner.’
      • ‘After plans for a day out on Friday were rained off, we went off to Chester Zoo yesterday and even had some sunshine.’
      • ‘On a day when all the Second Division matches were rained off, Windhill and Salts fell victim to the inevitable with their game finely balanced.’
      • ‘It has been pouring down nearly all day. we did some vital shopping this morning and this afternoon we were going to have a wonder into town but alas we were rained off.’
      • ‘With more inclement weather forecast for today, there is a good possibility the match could be rained out.’
      • ‘As all matches were rained off what will happen to that match?’
      • ‘Bauser said the board still had to pay its staff and caterers even if the match was rained out.’
      • ‘The Strathmore Mosquito team was to play their first tournament this past weekend, but they were rained out.’
      • ‘Thank Heaven that yesterday's game was rained out and everyone - players, managers, and fans - had a chance to cool down.’
      • ‘I tried to go see the Danville Braves, but their game was rained out.’
      • ‘If games in the early part of the season were rained out, you knew they could be made up during the visiting team's next trip into town.’
      • ‘Contractors who had planned to lay down white lines to form narrow lanes over the weekend were rained off and the 10-month project had to be postponed.’
      • ‘It came down to the final points race of the year, and we were running good enough to beat him in final, but it was rained out.’
      • ‘The event was cancelled in 2001 due to foot and mouth and was rained off in 2000.’
      • ‘However, he showed signs he had turned the corner with a quickfire 42 against Zimbabwe in the VB Series on Thursday before the match was rained off.’
      • ‘If the match is rained out, and New Zealand beats Canada today, NZ will proceed ahead of SA to the Super Sixes, along with Kenya and probably Sri Lanka.’
      • ‘We have been extremely fortunate and the event was rained off only once.’

Origin

Old English regn (noun), regnian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch regen and German Regen.

Pronunciation:

rain

/reɪn/