a. Water condensed from atmospheric vapor and falling in drops.
b. A fall of such water; a rainstorm.
c. The descent of such water.
d. Rainy weather.
e. rains A rainy season.
2. A heavy or abundant fall: a rain of fluffy cottonwood seeds; a rain of insults.
v. rained, rain·ing, rains
1. To fall in drops of water from the clouds.
2. To fall like rain: Praise rained down on the composer.
3. To release rain.
1. To send or pour down.
2. To give abundantly; shower: rain gifts; rain curses upon their heads.
To force the cancellation or postponement of (an outdoor event) because of rain. Used in passive constructions: The ball game was rained out.
rain cats and dogs Informal
To rain very heavily.
[Middle English, from Old English regn, rēn.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.