Definition of rainbow in English:



  • 1An arch of colors formed in the sky in certain circumstances, caused by the refraction and dispersion of the sun's light by rain or other water droplets in the atmosphere.

    • ‘But the reward was generous - a tremulous rainbow arched over the mountains, shaggy with greenery.’
    • ‘The spray - which can be felt half a mile away - creates a rainbow, arching over the whole width and shimmering in the sunlight.’
    • ‘Their blossoms can be either single, double, or semi-double, and come in nearly every color of the rainbow except blue and green.’
    • ‘Mists from the falling water made rainbows all down the cliff.’
    • ‘A rainbow arched its bridge of many colours across the evening sky, nature's magical wave of the wand.’
    • ‘It was still grey and wet from raining earlier but she could see the red and orange from a dim rainbow across the mountain.’
    • ‘The brightest rainbows occur when the raindrops are large, so by studying the rainbow, you can deduce whether the drops that are falling are large or small.’
    • ‘You can find these roses in every color of the rainbow, except blue.’
    • ‘The receding rains also formed a rainbow spanning the sky and dipping into a village in the valley.’
    • ‘Is there a raindrops-per-cubic-inch threshold that's necessary for a rainbow to be visible?’
    • ‘You'll find every shade in the rainbow except blue, including gorgeous blends of two or more colors.’
    • ‘All of a sudden, the sky cleared, became blue and a perfect rainbow arched over me with one end in the sand.’
    • ‘A rainbow arched over the far wing in between showers of rain and bursts of sunshine.’
    • ‘In some cases, light is reflected twice by each rain drop, forming a larger, fainter secondary rainbow outside the primary rainbow.’
    • ‘You don't get rainbows without rain, after all.’
    • ‘As we leave Pisac and roll down the side of the gorge, the sun suddenly emerges and a brilliant rainbow lights up the verdant green Sacred Valley of the Incas.’
    • ‘Late-blooming clematis grew up the trellis, forming a wall of flowers in a rainbow's colours, feathery seed heads and green leaves, enclosing the patio.’
    • ‘Some trick of the angle, the light, and the nature of the liquid droplets in the atmosphere produced a rainbow that seemed to be shining entirely in the red end of the spectrum.’
    • ‘A mother's smile is like seeing a rainbow after it rains and the sun comes out.’
    • ‘A brilliant rainbow formed a perfect arch on what was destined to be a great vista, where Lutyens' memorial arch [now called India Gate] stands.’
    brightly coloured, bright-coloured, deep-coloured, brilliant, glowing, radiant, vivid, rich, vibrant
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Any display of the colors of the spectrum produced by dispersion of light.
      • ‘The sole job of a spectroscope is to break light into a rainbow of its component colors.’
      • ‘The light from the open window glinted off every angle and gave the appearance that the blade itself was shimmering as it sent rainbows of refracted light across the room.’
      • ‘The light bounced off his light blonde hair and the three silver hoops in his ear in iridescent rainbows.’
      • ‘He paused, watching the rainbows of refracted light from it sparkle on the shelves and walls, an expression of almost reverent awe on his face.’
      • ‘The diamond was shining brilliantly in the sun, casting tiny rainbows on her fingers.’
      • ‘Large, clear-cut, crystalline windows shone in the late afternoon sun, casting colorful rainbows across the expansive lawn.’
      • ‘Sunlight filtered through the water, creating the rainbows, and providing them with light.’
      • ‘The sunlight in the water splashed circles of rainbows on the rock walls, making it an absolutely beautiful place to doze in the afternoon.’
      • ‘Stained glass windows splayed sunlight in multicolored, non-sense rainbows over the rich Persian rugs thrown to either side of the ruby highway.’
    2. 1.2 A wide range or variety of related and typically colorful things.
      ‘a rainbow of medals decorated his chest’
      • ‘Their music was a rainbow of sounds and songs drawn from gamelan to pop, via jazz and Terry Riley's minimalism.’
      • ‘He will be back with a rainbow of programmes for this creative crowd.’
      • ‘A cast of 10 will employ tricks and spells such as mime, dance, live music and puppetry, thus enchanting their audience with a rainbow of stories from around the world!’
      • ‘Following the path of the red Aids ribbon, Armstrong's band has spawned a rainbow of imitators.’
      • ‘Behind the asymmetric bars sat the gymnasts, a rainbow of tracksuits under a canopy of national flags.’
      • ‘The Physical Activity Guide offers a rainbow of activities to choose from.’
      • ‘It's home to the more unusual sea apples - cucumbers that sprout a rainbow of filter-feeding arms - as well as colourful toxic sea urchins.’
      • ‘He entered with a tray balanced on his hand, and when he looked up and saw us a rainbow of emotions crossed his face.’
      • ‘The bright green shrubs and rainbows of flowers all looked the same after a while.’
      • ‘His death at the age of 99 conjures up a rainbow of feelings.’
      • ‘When we come out, our families have a rainbow of reactions.’
      • ‘Bright colors created a rainbow of dresses and veils!’
      • ‘They were arranged by type and color, so just walking down the long pathways gave the viewers a rainbow of botanicals and a smell just as invigorating as the scenery.’
      • ‘The natural health guru suggests trying to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables each day to get the right variety of nutrients.’
      • ‘The streets of the town are packed with fabric shops; their shelves piled high with a rainbow of materials.’
      • ‘Huge boulders covered with a rainbow of corals are back-dropped by dazzling white sand making the colours even more vibrant in contrast.’
      • ‘Lining up in a rainbow of small, banana-shaped plastic boats, one by one we steered our kayaks across the angry stretch of open water.’
      • ‘Their different reasons for forming these collections comprise a rainbow of motives as complex as a Navajo sand painting.’
      • ‘There was a time when the better players had balls with a wide variety of pin positions, allowing a rainbow of reactions.’
      • ‘India has a rainbow of cultures spread out over 27 states and six territories.’
    3. 1.3[as modifier] Many-colored.
      ‘a big rainbow packet of felt pens’
      • ‘Someone had given Colin a huge bouquet of rainbow balloons, and there were so many that they blocked the three men from the view of the front seat and the side windows.’
      • ‘Most striking is a work with tiny rainbow streaks at the top edge near the center, like a prismatic reflection, while almost all of the rest is black.’
      • ‘This season the store looks like the set of Austin Powers - all short skirts and rainbow dresses, along with simpler black and white versions.’
      • ‘In their diversity and variety, they encompass various coalescing and opposing interests and ideas to give them a many-coloured rainbow splendour.’
      • ‘She was wearing multicoloured jazzy pants and a slinky glittery rainbow top that exposed her entire back, a lot of her stomach and neck and was very risqué.’
      • ‘She sat across from the little girl at her kitchen table with a large plate of freshly chopped rainbow peppers sitting between them and ranch dressing to dip them in.’
      • ‘Huge blocks of pale turquoise were set off by strips of lemon yellow hems or belts, and oversized rainbow stripes crisscrossed the body on dresses and shell tops.’
      • ‘First, fill a standard coffee mug with 2 scoops of rainbow sherbet.’
      • ‘With its amazing soundtrack and psychedelic rainbow visuals it captivates adults and kids alike.’
      • ‘Nowadays, we find golden berries, rainbow corn, and black carrots, varieties not commonly available before.’
      • ‘Above it all floated a huge sparkling mirror ball, glistening as it rotated in the sun, spewing rainbow streaks across the implausible scene.’
      • ‘A black cloth got transformed into rainbow hues, and the Tri-colour emerged from the pieces of cloth kept in a tin.’
      • ‘Whether in a cup or a cone - single or double dip - and sprinkled with chocolate or rainbow jimmies, ice cream evokes happy memories.’
      • ‘Your favorite ice cream flavor is cotton candy and you eat it with rainbow sprinkles.’
      • ‘I really shouldn't have been surprised when I ended up at the ice cream parlor with Mom and my three scoops of rainbow sherbet in a sugar cone.’
      • ‘A hundred dancers, clothed in rainbow silks, celebrate Diwali in Blenheim palace.’
      • ‘Every day of my junior year, I wore a pair of rainbow suspenders, jeans rolled up to my knees, striped knee socks, and a newsboy cap.’
      • ‘I dressed in black tank top and rainbow gypsy skirt.’
      • ‘The first time I went to Thailand, I got these rainbow beads.’
      • ‘I saw my first puffins, a flock swimming in the sea, small birds with big triangular rainbow beaks that look as if they're held on with elastic, like clown noses.’
    4. 1.4
      short for rainbow trout


Old English regnboga (see rain, bow).