Definition of pour in English:



  • 1(especially of a liquid) flow rapidly in a steady stream.

    ‘water poured off the roof’
    figurative ‘words poured from his mouth’
    • ‘What followed was over 80,000 cubic meters of peat and water pouring down in a lava-like flow from the mountain point of Dunne's Rock.’
    • ‘Her answer poured from her mouth rapidly, as if to hint that she didn't really want to talk about him.’
    • ‘She felt something press against her lips, and cool water began to pour into her mouth.’
    • ‘Water was pouring over the lip of the roof in front of my windows like a waterfall and I couldn't see beyond it.’
    • ‘On the particular occasion that he went to the roof, he had been warned by the first floor tenant that water was pouring in the roof hatch.’
    • ‘Their efforts were dampened slightly when a huge cascade of water came pouring over them.’
    • ‘Carefully lifting the bowl, she tilted it ever-so-slightly, and the water poured slowly into his mouth.’
    • ‘Water poured off of the roof (what was left of it), and flooded the driveway and street.’
    • ‘A thin stream of water poured into it, stopping when the glass was full.’
    • ‘Another stream of smoke poured out of his mouth and hovered near the ceiling.’
    • ‘Black water is pouring out of taps in private houses and residents fear that their health may be put at risk.’
    • ‘She laid a hand on his arm, stilling the flood of jumbled thoughts and rambling words that poured from his mouth.’
    • ‘But instead of a large bang or a flash of color a stream of water poured from her fingertips, like she was a human fountain.’
    • ‘Suddenly, a cascade of water started pouring down, starting to rapidly fill the room.’
    • ‘Once you break the rim of the bowl and the water pours in, it's not like an ordinary flood, where the water comes and it goes.’
    • ‘Words were pouring out of your mouth faster than I could register what they were.’
    • ‘The words poured from William's mouth in an unpremeditated rush.’
    • ‘But water also seemed to pour in from higher up, causing it to flow down Doomgate and into Chapel Street where it flooded homes.’
    • ‘The climb down the ladder was quite ‘interesting’ due to the cascade of water pouring over your head and down your back!’
    • ‘You can tell, because all the water from the stream pours into the ground through a two-inch slit in the rockbed.’
    gush out, spew out, spurt out, spout out
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    1. 1.1with object Cause (a liquid) to flow from a container in a steady stream by holding the container at an angle.
      ‘she poured a little whiskey into a glass’
      • ‘However, if you add milk to the cup first and pour tea on top, the milk will be more gradually diluted in the hot water, cooling the tea bit by bit as it is added and will therefore rise in temperature more slowly.’
      • ‘For another, they've taken to tarting up their lattes with leaf-like artwork carved into the foam with subtle tricks of the wrist while pouring the drinks.’
      • ‘She was smiling to herself, and pouring coffee into a cup.’
      • ‘Mark went to work on him, cleaning the wound, and pouring various liquids on the open wound.’
      • ‘The waiter pours some creamy liquid on the rice.’
      • ‘She poured a clear liquid from the bottle into her left hand, handed the bottle to Victoria, then rubbed the liquid onto both hands.’
      • ‘He watched her as she walked back to the counter and poured coffee into two cups.’
      • ‘I grabbed a cotton ball and carefully poured the liquid on to it.’
      • ‘The tea is poured into earless cups and served with both hands.’
      • ‘To serve, pour the tea from high above the glasses to aerate and amplify the character of the tea and garnish with mint.’
      • ‘As soon as she poured the liquid onto the sorcerer's wound, she placed her hands over it, and white light instantly erupted from him.’
      • ‘They have warned offenders that officers will pour the drink down the drain, as well as contacting their parents.’
      • ‘I shivered as he poured the cool liquid onto my back, and then he began rubbing it in, massaging my back and shoulders.’
      • ‘Mats are provided, food is served upon plates and drink is poured into cups.’
      • ‘Ben picked up a cup and poured coffee into it, then laced in a liberal amount of cream and sugar, stirring it once.’
      • ‘Mrs. Jacobs was pouring coffee into a cup over by the sink in the cooking area.’
      • ‘The inquest heard that Daniel cut the container using broken glass, poured liquid on the floor and set fire to it using a lighter.’
      • ‘The healer gently poured a shimmering liquid over the warrior's face.’
      • ‘He picked up a cup and absently poured coffee into it.’
      • ‘I drop two lumps of brown sugar into my cup and pour the coffee and milk in together.’
      drain, decant, pour off, draw off, siphon off, tap, tip, discharge, transfer
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    2. 1.2with object Prepare and serve (a drink)
      ‘she poured out a cup of tea’
      with two objects ‘Harry poured her a drink’
      • ‘Dressed, we walked down to the office where the old man was already pouring a drink.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the viewer watches passively, pouring another drink and eating cookies.’
      • ‘She took the orders, dropped the meat into the fryer, scooped the chips, poured the drinks then assembled the burgers.’
      • ‘We poured our own drinks, dictated which songs should be played and pretty much did whatever we wanted.’
      • ‘When the correct bottle is brought up from the store and a replacement drink is poured, the waitress slams it down on the table and flounces off.’
      • ‘Another worker was in charge of mixing milk shakes and pouring sodas.’
      • ‘The men pass the time by dictating letters that will never be sent home, acting out films they will never make, and pouring imaginary drinks that will never touch their lips.’
      • ‘She sat in front of the table as she prepared some food and poured some wine.’
      • ‘He poured some tea and drank while watching the rising sun.’
      • ‘But as I was pouring a drink for someone standing next to him I finally saw it.’
      • ‘A woman was bent over next to me, pouring a drink, and heard the conversation.’
      • ‘I sighed and pulled it out, grabbed four cups, and started pouring the drinks.’
      • ‘She pours tea for students in national costume.’
      • ‘Guests poured their own drinks, wrote their own bills and enjoyed great food and live jazz sessions.’
      • ‘Your cousin Harry pours drinks so strong your hangover gets a hangover?’
      • ‘One night I was pouring my own drinks behind the upstairs bar.’
      • ‘The drinks are poured at the table from ice-cold bottles, to be downed in one gut-warming gulp.’
      • ‘We make friends with the bartender, and she starts pouring drinks before we even ask for refills.’
      • ‘It is estimated over half a million cups of coffee were poured in homes and workplaces all over Ireland in aid of the initiative.’
      • ‘Jim went to the bottle on the coffee table and poured another drink.’
    3. 1.3 (of rain) fall heavily.
      ‘the storm clouds gathered and the rain poured down’
      with object ‘it's pouring rain’
      • ‘As the rain poured down on us, we kissed in the moonlight.’
      • ‘As the rain poured down I broke the bad news to them - there is no machine, you must walk down the town, find a shop that sells discs and walk up again and display it on your car.’
      • ‘Rain poured down and every once in a while lightning streaked through the sky.’
      • ‘The rain poured down in buckets, but Darren rode anyway, sending his horse galloping across the muddy ground.’
      • ‘Rain poured down in buckets now, and it stayed like this for an hour.’
      • ‘It also coincided with a deterioration in the weather - when the rain poured down.’
      • ‘Sunday morning it poured down rain, making it impossible to have the party in the park after all.’
      • ‘I began to move again as the cold rain poured down on me, soaking me through once again.’
      • ‘The rain that came down upon the city was like a cloudburst; the last time the rain poured down like this was some ten years ago.’
      • ‘It was a wonderful feeling, even as the rain poured down again and the body continued to ache.’
      • ‘The sky grew dark as the rain poured down even harder.’
      • ‘Rain poured down in sheets, soaking my hair into a moppy mess.’
      • ‘It poured down rain in heavy sheets and now she was angry, glowering and wet.’
      • ‘The rain poured down harder, mirroring both of their moods.’
      • ‘Traditionally this has been a week when the skies opened and the rains poured down.’
      • ‘My wavy brown hair was now unattractively straight, plastered onto my face as the rain poured down heavily on me.’
      • ‘And still the rain poured down, beating against the glass panes.’
      • ‘Last night enough rain poured down to melt most of the remaining snow and ice and we look forward to finding the area beset by flooding in the near future.’
      • ‘With players on both sides finding it ever harder to control the ball as the rain poured down, scores were at a premium over the next 10 or 12 minutes.’
      • ‘My brothers huddled in their tent that night while a thunderstorm raged over the mountain and rain poured down.’
      rain hard, rain heavily, teem down, pelt down, tip down, beat down, lash down, sheet down, come down in sheets, come down in torrents, rain cats and dogs
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    4. 1.4 (of people or things) come or go in a steady stream and in large numbers.
      ‘letters poured in’
      • ‘The appeal has now reached £350,000 and hundreds of letters are pouring in each day offering donations and support.’
      • ‘By December, more letters were pouring in, which included thoughts like these.’
      • ‘Cards, letters and emails have poured into their Radcliffe Road home.’
      • ‘Since the new column came out, letters have been pouring in from students in school, all sounding desperate and eager for advice.’
      • ‘The letters began pouring in, giving me a broader picture of this phenomenon.’
      • ‘Other published reports claimed letters of support were pouring in from faculty, alumni and concerned members of the community.’
      • ‘Letters poured in from them, and from others my father had helped.’
      • ‘She drew on information that was not mainline at all, but that she felt had validity from the test cases that she had seen and from the letters that were pouring in to her by this time.’
      • ‘However, when the site received international media attention, letters started pouring in from all over the world.’
      • ‘It was so upsetting that thousands of letters poured into the White House once President Roosevelt announced the date change.’
      • ‘Donations and letters have been pouring into the UNFPA at such a rate that the agency has hired two interns to sort and keep track of the incoming mail.’
      • ‘Thousands of letters poured in from children with diabetes pledging their eternal gratitude.’
      • ‘Letters pour in from around the world offering condolences and support.’
      • ‘We appreciate all the letters that have been pouring in, they have been a nice diversion from the waiting game.’
      • ‘The response to this survey has been truly phenomenal with literally hundreds of letters pouring in every week from people anxious to have their say.’
      • ‘Cards and letters came pouring in from total strangers who wanted to reach out and offer their condolences.’
      • ‘When it is published, letters begin pouring in from people all over who read her story and loved it and want more like it.’
      • ‘Threatening letters poured in, which further intensified the worries of my family.’
      • ‘Before letters of protest start pouring in, I'm not saying all 16-year-olds should be tarred with the same brush.’
      • ‘I already had floods of congratulatory cards and letters pouring in from the public.’
      throng, crowd, swarm, stream, flood, gush, teem
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    5. 1.5pour something intowith object Donate something, especially money, to (a particular enterprise or project) in large amounts.
      ‘Belgium has been pouring money into the company’
      • ‘The scion to a Manhattan real-estate fortune, he had determined early on to pour his wealth into projects that helped other people.’
      • ‘So much money is poured into the Games that, sensibly used, cash from what is essentially a leisure activity can transform the host city.’
      • ‘The company pours excessive amounts into new product development each year.’
      • ‘In recent years, much money has been poured into an effort to persuade people to ‘ask your doctor about’ a wide variety of drugs for common conditions.’
      • ‘Much of the money at the moment is poured into the primary sector in health, leaving the secondary sector in dire straits.’
      • ‘This is after an eight-month inquiry, and Lord knows how much taxpayer money has been poured into this effort to uncover my presumed guilt.’
      • ‘We sufficiently distanced ourselves from the ‘real tourists,’ the ones from the cruise ships who will in the end pour dollars into the very projects of our discussions.’
      • ‘They pour their money into primaries and try to influence the GOP outcome.’
      • ‘So much money was poured into it, at the expense of the magazines.’
      • ‘You had to pour your own money into this film to get it going.’
      • ‘Why, for example, did professional money managers pour funds into the stocks of Internet companies that had no profits and no prospects?’
      • ‘‘I work hard and rather than buy a new house or car I like to pour my money into my passion, which is trains,’ said Pete.’
      • ‘And, by the by, he also pours his money into men's and women's hockey within his native community.’
      • ‘This growth enabled the banks to borrow heavily overseas, and this money was poured into the housing market.’
      • ‘How much better if councillors poured our money into a nightclub.’
      • ‘Maybe they'd want to pour the money into world travel or political activism or the charity of their choice or a really nice ride.’
      • ‘Yet the professionals were pouring their own money into tech stocks and commodity-exploration firms that were ripe for recovery but too risky for the public.’
      • ‘Much of the money has been poured into high-end residential property.’
      • ‘He wanted a subtle vibe that just happened organically and not based on how much money was poured into it.’
      • ‘It is an absolute tragedy that, no matter how much money is poured into the department, we have a culture where we do not take responsibility for our actions and where children are used as a mechanism to get income.’
    6. 1.6pour something outwith object Express one's feelings or thoughts in a full and unrestrained way.
      ‘in his letters, Edward poured out his hopes’
      • ‘Love was new and beautiful to her, and her feelings were poured out and expressed in her tears.’
      • ‘It makes for a listening experience that is deeply rooted in the present tense, rocking the ribcage and making the heart pound as Williams pours her soul out onto the studio floor.’
      • ‘I'm sitting here pouring my heart out because I'm exhausted.’
      • ‘By the second drink, he was pouring his heart out to me, as I did the same.’
      • ‘After staring at them for ten minutes, he finally started to speak, pouring his heart out.’
      • ‘He digests these impressions, pours them out in language and stories, and gives them back to the world.’
      • ‘He had achieved a quiet self-effacement, pouring his unmistakable voice out to the smallest of die-hard audiences, reigning in no-fi poetry with the help of a few stray guests and the blessings of modern boombox technology.’
      • ‘We were pouring our guts out dressed as idiots, but we all felt like actors rather than recording artists.’
      • ‘Taxi drivers as therapists may seem perverse, but more and more of us seem to be pouring our hearts out in the back of cabs.’
      • ‘The newspaper reports that she pours her heart out about the break-up of her marriage.’
      • ‘As though flipping a switch, Aidan poured the story out of his mouth so fast I wasn't sure if William would be able to understand it.’
      • ‘She had poured her heart out to him and revealed her deepest, darkest secret, and he was too stunned to know what to do or say.’
      • ‘I figured you had poured your soul out in that letter, and if I would've read it, I wouldn't have been able to do what I did.’
      • ‘It was so rare that his sister poured her heart out, expressed what was really on her mind.’
      • ‘He collapsed on the ground and poured his heart out, unknowingly speaking out loud.’
      • ‘People are just pouring their hearts out, and making a donation is an expression of that.’
      • ‘She tells her story via a translator, pausing to choose her words carefully, then pouring them out with a staccato of fist punches to make her point.’
      • ‘You could pour your heart out in response letters, encouraging tolerance and trying to educate and inspire rational discussion.’
      • ‘While he pours her feelings out, she treads very carefully and doesn't make the reader feel as though they are crashing into her personal life or snooping into her diary.’
      • ‘The genre was known for its urbane disinclination to perform any icky operations involving hearts: pouring them out, for instance, or affixing them to sleeves.’
      express, voice, vent, give vent to, give expression to, vocalize, give voice to, put in words, give utterance to, communicate, declare, state, set forth, bring into the open, make public, assert, divulge, reveal, proclaim, announce, raise, table, air, ventilate, mention, talk of, point out, go into
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    7. 1.7pour oneself intohumorous Dress oneself in (a tight-fitting piece of clothing)
      ‘I poured myself into a short Lycra skirt’
      • ‘I tried most of it and when I mentioned it to one of friends, I was asked if this was wise considering that there was a pre-bought bridesmaid dress that I would have to shortly pour myself into.’
      • ‘Is there a man among you who hasn't poured himself into tight jeans or favoured a T-shirt that flashed a beefy bicep?’
      • ‘Her husband, it reminded readers, stayed at home changing nappies while she poured herself into frocks.’
      • ‘It's going to come down to how your behind looks when you pour yourself into them.’
      • ‘At the rate in which I am bloating from the pill, if I don't pour myself into that bikini by this weekend, in two weeks I may not be able.’
      put on, get dressed in, dress in, dress oneself in, pull on, climb into, get into, fling on, throw on, slip into, slip on, change into, rig oneself out in, clothe oneself in, array oneself in, deck oneself out in, accoutre oneself in, put round one's shoulders, put on one's head
      View synonyms


On the confusion of pour and pore, see pore


  • pour cold water on

  • pour it on

    • informal Progress or work quickly or with all one's energy.

      • ‘After Sunday's game he spoke of pouring it on at the end to ‘demoralize’ his opponents, as if merely winning by 20 and scoring 70 wouldn't do the trick - it had to be 80.’
      • ‘He really pours it on at the end, when the demons return to their graves; it's a mournful theme that makes you feel sorry for the damned.’
      • ‘Atmosphere, dread and horror are things that come naturally to him and here he pours it on liberally.’
      • ‘If you get 21 points up on somebody, you don't need to keep pouring it on.’
      • ‘As we melted with the feeling of the song, he poured it on.’
      • ‘Yesterday I really poured it on and ended up at under 2,000 calories.’
      • ‘We came out and just jumped on them and kept pouring it on.’
      • ‘He played to a small audience accompanying himself on guitar and just poured it on.’
      • ‘And I think he still can pull it out on Tuesday, but he's got to really pour it on in the few days.’
      • ‘In the third quarter, he poured it on, racking up 19 points in his inimitably blue-collar fashion.’
  • pour oil on troubled waters

    • Try to settle a disagreement or dispute with words intended to placate or pacify those involved.

      • ‘In a week of such in-house turbulence, the return to first-team duty is a welcome snippet of positive news to pour oil on troubled waters.’
      • ‘And the newspapers Down Under have hardly been pouring oil on troubled waters.’
      • ‘One African minister advised against ‘pouring oil on troubled waters’.’
      • ‘Property management companies are less easy to fix, but some research involving a trade catalogue for cast iron drain parts has proved to be enlightening, and some sensible financial management ideas pour oil on troubled waters.’
      • ‘Now a local MP is trying to pour oil on troubled waters by enlisting the help of the Bishop to act as peacekeeper.’
      • ‘Needless to say, this sort of rumor-mongering has no place in American politics, and we're proud to be pouring oil on troubled waters, instead of fanning the flames.’
      • ‘Pity that their back-benchers brought up the issue on a quiet news day before the last World Cup and have not ceased pouring oil on troubled waters since.’
      • ‘The great diplomat has arrived to pour oil on troubled waters.’
      • ‘And in a move guaranteed to pour oil on troubled waters, the store has asked the band to play a promotional concert on its premises.’
      • ‘In the end we decided the best thing for him to do is to soldier on, to pour oil on troubled waters in liberal quantities and to live with the problem.’
  • pour scorn on

    • Speak with contempt or mockery of.

      • ‘There exists a grave mistake where people think Westernisation is development and pour scorn on all who try to uphold and espouse our local traditions.’
      • ‘This was a phrase that Wallis would pour scorn on when he attacked Hobbes' ideas.’
      • ‘She pours scorn on plans to capitalise on the growing movement for father's rights.’
      • ‘In fact, he pours scorn on the idea that any such thing could really exist.’
      • ‘Doubters and critics have poured scorn on our ambitious plans or urged speed when a more thoughtful approach was deserved and required.’
      • ‘I really do not want to discourage, or to pour scorn on, Mr Hide's hopes in that regard.’
      • ‘The group poured scorn on the idea that a merger between Bank of Ireland and AIB would be good for the country, saying it was ‘fantasy’.’
      • ‘I considered calling in the authorities, but a friend of mine pours scorn on anyone who summons the police for a problem that they could solve themselves.’
      • ‘Many in the arts industry reacted with horror to such an idea, pouring scorn on the author.’
      • ‘Without being triumphalist or pouring scorn on media forecasts, he admitted the build-up to the game worked out perfectly for him.’
      disparage, denigrate, run down, deprecate, depreciate, downgrade, play down, belittle, trivialize, minimize, make light of, treat lightly, undervalue, underrate, underestimate
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  • when it rains it pours

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

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You know what they say though - it never rains but it pours.’
      • ‘Farmers need little convincing at present of the truth of the saying that 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.’
      • ‘In terms of troubles, however, it would appear that in shintyland it never rains but it pours.’


Middle English: of unknown origin.