from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Water condensed from atmospheric vapor and falling in drops.
  • noun A fall of such water; a rainstorm.
  • noun The descent of such water.
  • noun Rainy weather.
  • noun A rainy season.
  • noun A heavy or abundant fall.
  • intransitive verb To fall in drops of water from the clouds.
  • intransitive verb To fall like rain.
  • intransitive verb To release rain.
  • intransitive verb To send or pour down.
  • intransitive verb To give abundantly; shower.
  • idiom (rain cats and dogs) To rain very heavily.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To fall in drops through the air, as water: generally used impersonally.
  • To fall or drop like rain; as, tears rained from their eyes.
  • To pour or shower down, like rain from the clouds; pour or send down abundantly.
  • noun A ridge.
  • noun A furrow.
  • noun An obsolete spelling of rein.
  • noun The descent of water in drops through the atmosphere, or the water thus falling.
  • noun Figuratively— A fall of any substance through the atmosphere in the manner of rain, as of blossoms or of the pyrotechnic stars from rockets and other fireworks.
  • noun A shower, downpour, or abundant outpouring of anything.
  • noun Synonyms Rain, Haze, Fog, Mist, Cloud. A cloud resting upon the earth is called mist or fog. In mist the globules are very fine, but are separately distinguishable, and have a visible motion. In fog the particles are separately indistinguishable, and there is no perceptible motion. A dry fog is composed largely of dust-particles on which the condensed vapor is too slight to occasion any sense of moisture. Haze differs from fog and cloud in the greater microscopic minuteness of its particles. It is visible only as a want of transparency of the atmosphere, and in general exhibits neither form, boundary, nor locus. Thus, among haze, fog, mist, and rain, the size of the constituent particles or globules is a discriminating characteristic, though frequently cloud merges into fog or mist, and mist into rain, by insensible gradations.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • obsolete Reign.
  • intransitive verb To fall in drops from the clouds, as water; -- used mostly with it for a nominative.
  • intransitive verb To fall or drop like water from the clouds.
  • transitive verb To pour or shower down from above, like rain from the clouds.
  • transitive verb To bestow in a profuse or abundant manner.
  • noun Water falling in drops from the clouds; the descent of water from the clouds in drops.
  • noun (Meteorol.) a dark band in the yellow portion of the solar spectrum near the sodium line, caused by the presence of watery vapor in the atmosphere, and hence sometimes used in weather predictions.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the yaffle, or green woodpecker. [Prov. Eng.] The name is also applied to various other birds, as to Saurothera vetula of the West Indies.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the channel-bill cuckoo (Scythrops Novæ-Hollandiæ) of Australia.
  • noun an instrument of various forms for measuring the quantity of rain that falls at any given place in a given time; a pluviometer; an ombrometer.
  • noun (Zoöl.), [Prov. Eng.] the red-throated diver, or loon.
  • noun (Geol.) markings on the surfaces of stratified rocks, presenting an appearance similar to those made by rain on mud and sand, and believed to have been so produced.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See Quail, n., 1.
  • noun water that has fallen from the clouds in rain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Condensed water falling from a cloud.
  • noun figuratively Any matter moving or falling, usually through air, and especially if liquid or otherwise figuratively identifiable with raindrops.
  • noun figuratively An instance of particles or larger pieces of matter moving or falling through air.
  • verb impersonal To have rain fall from the sky.
  • verb intransitive To fall in large quantities.
  • verb transitive To issue (something) in large quantities.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun water falling in drops from vapor condensed in the atmosphere
  • noun anything happening rapidly or in quick successive
  • noun drops of fresh water that fall as precipitation from clouds
  • verb precipitate as rain


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English regn, rēn.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English reyn, rein, from Old English reġn, from Proto-Germanic *regnaz (compare West Frisian rein, Dutch regen, German Regen, Danish regn), from pre-Germanic *Hréǵ-no-, from Proto-Indo-European *Hreǵ 'to flow' (cf. Latin rigō ("wet, soak"), Lithuanian rõki 'drizzling rain', Albanian rrjedh 'to flow, drip').


The word rain has been adopted by Melissa Santos.

Help support Wordnik by adopting your own word here.


  • The fact that we usually are talking about rain in a particular place has to do with the nature of rain and the way humans are concerned with it and conceptualize the phenomena, rather than the syntax of ˜rain.™

    Pragmatics Korta, Kepa 2006

  • Their authority rests above all upon their supposed power of making rain, for “rain is the one thing which matters to the people in those districts, as if it does not come down at the right time it means untold hardships for the community.

    Chapter 6. Magicians as Kings 1922

  • Rule 55 the umpire is prohibited from suspending play in a match game on account of rain, unless "_rain falls so heavily that the spectators are compelled by the severity of the storm_, to seek shelter."

    Spalding's Baseball Guide and Official League Book for 1889 Henry Chadwick 1866

  • I had to wait 5 months AND come north a thousand of miles or so to find out that there was a tropical depression and that was the reason for all of the rain in October. (there was so much rain that we were sort of stuck at home - I refused to drive down the mountain unless absolutely necessary because I got stuck once, and I was not about to get stuck in the mud again. * think dirt road/ruts + 30+ days of heavy rain*)

    La Gringa's Blogicito 2009

  • Rains of Fishes: Do fishes fall in rain from the sky?

    Boing Boing 2009

  • Plus the rain is a good excuse to stay in and relax.

    August 19, 2009: Health Project, Girl's Summer Camp, Soccer and more Anna 2009

  • Plus the rain is a good excuse to stay in and relax.

    Archive 2009-08-01 Anna 2009

  • Inviting people in out of the rain is a totally different thing from people just trying to get out of the rain.

    These ‘I regret my 2008 vote’ pieces are going to be excruciating… | RedState 2010

  • Right now the rain is as heavy as I've ever seen it.

    This is my brain on stir-fry drewshi 2007

  • And sometimes the fact that we can dance after the rain is the most remarkable part of all.

    Rain. Dance. | Her Bad Mother 2007


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  • Something kewpid and frindley love.

    August 23, 2008

  • It just so happens there was some fantastic rain happening in Sydney on Friday…

    August 23, 2008

  • I also love rain. Which is a good thing because it has pretty much rained all month in Adelaide.

    August 23, 2008

  • Fantastic is just the right word.

    August 23, 2008

  • The Rain In Japain

    It rains a great deal in Japan and the Japanese love to talk about the weather. There are at least 50 Japanese nouns for rain.

    - John Spacey,, August 2012




    rain of sons, rain of daughters


    rain shower

    rain of dandelion, windrippt and free


    rain shower

    the national drizzle of Scotland


    rain shower

    rain that keeps you indoors, kettled till aftermorrow



    rain of legion


    weak rain

    rain beaded on your tragic black vinyl jacket


    light rain

    drops of autumn washing summer a last time before it's put away


    light rain

    rain on your neighbour's side of the street


    light rain

    rain kept out by loose tiles, just


    fine rain

    rain deceptive enough to ruin your new haircut


    misty rain

    a film of moisture through which you skeptically view past selves





    heavy rain



    heavy rain

    rain in the carpet and the smell of old sheep


    severe rain

    too late for renovations, but not for regret


    driving rain



    driving rain

    keep going, it's only water


    intense rain

    mysteriously, I feel alive


    severe localized downpour

    oh my garden


    wind and rain



    freezing rain

    yellow jacket, gloves, scarf, he hoped


    rain then snow



    snow and rain



    snow and rain

    they found a body, under the shadow of a precipice


    clear then rain

    prayer not enough


    rain and dew

    rain of lost gypsies


    cool rain

    in straight lines, no nonsense


    chilly rain

    help me, pity me


    cold winter rain

    to the seasons I am come, as naked, as a branch, as a fold of humanity


    very cold rain or hail

    rain of golf-ball spite


    night rain

    I hear the night rain, the night train, the night rain slick on boxcars of the night train and all signals down


    seasonal rain

    rain of now

    rain that reminds me of the Braille around the nipples of the first girl who bared me her breast

    shun rin

    spring rain

    I recall the sun and its desire, plain and unambiguous

    shun u

    gentle spring rain

    rain of growth


    early-summer rain

    rain that curtains the river from the foothills


    early-summer rain

    I am learning to be thirsty


    autumn rain

    the days shorten

    shuu rin

    autumn rain

    the rains lengthen


    winter rain

    from the alps there is thunder of heaven, then water, summit to sea


    refreshing rain once in ten days



    welcome rain



    artificial rain

    Chinese Olympic rain

    rain by which people kill themselves


    radioactive rain

    Fukushima rain


    rain from a cloudless sky

    a waltz in the desert, anon


    signs of rain

    see broken clouds, see sky


    threat of rain



    after the rain

    post-flood and -tide, after broom and beast, the streets are still for the feet of dreamers


    after rain



    break in the rain

    dunny-run; check mail; buy umbrella; eye


    brief light rain

    all clear


    long rain

    we return


    long rain

    we are


    long rain

    water, essence


    long rain

    element, spirit

    rain that swells gullies and makes men of rivulets


    sudden evening rain

    and sun

    and rain again

    October 26, 2015

  • When it rains, it pours. Love the 50 nouns for rain.

    What is it called when two raindrops fall in tandem on the ears of a bilby?

    (This is not a riddle. I don't have an answer for my question.)

    October 26, 2015