American English

Definition of rain noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable, singular] water that falls from the sky in separate drops There will be rain across the region tomorrow. Rain is forecast for the weekend. Don't go out in the rain. It's pouring rain (= raining very hard). heavy/torrential/driving rain The rain poured down. It looks like rain (= as if it is going to rain). A light rain began to fall. I think I felt a drop of rain. Topic CollocationsThe Weathergood weather be bathed in/bask in/be blessed with/enjoy bright/brilliant/glorious sunshine the sun shines/warms something/beats down (on something) the sunshine breaks/streams through something fluffy/wispy clouds drift across the sky a gentle/light/stiff/cool/warm breeze blows in/comes in off the sea the snow crunches beneath/under somebody's feet/bootsbad weather thick/dark/storm clouds form/gather/roll in/cover the sky/block out the sun the sky darkens/turns black a fine mist hangs in the air a dense/heavy/thick fog rolls in the rain falls/comes down (in buckets/sheets)/pours down snow falls/comes down/covers something/blankets something the wind blows/whistles/howls/picks up/whips through something/sweeps across something strong/gale-force winds blow/gust (up to 80 mph) a storm is approaching/is moving inland/hits/strikes/rages thunder rolls/rumbles/sounds (forked/sheet) lightning strikes/hits/flashes a (blinding/snow) blizzard hits/strikes/blows/rages a tornado touches down/hits/strikes/destroys something/rips through something forecast/expect/predict rain/snow/a category-four hurricane rain pours (down) get caught in/seek shelter from/escape the rain be covered/shrouded in mist/a blanket of fog be in for/brave/shelter from a/the storm hear rolling/distant thunder be battered/buffeted by strong winds battle against/brave the elementsthe weather improves the sun breaks through the clouds the sky clears/brightens (up)/lightens (up) the clouds part/clear the rain stops/lets up/holds off the wind dies down the storm passes the mist/fog lifts/clears see also acid rain, rainy
  2. 2the rains [plural] the season of heavy continuous rain in tropical countries The rains come in September.
  3. 3[singular] rain of something a large number of things falling from the sky at the same time a rain of arrows/stones
  4. Vocabulary Buildingrain and stormsrain Drizzle is fine light rain. A shower is a short period of rain. A downpour or a cloudburst is a heavy fall of rain that often starts suddenly. When it is raining very hard, you can say that it is pouring or pouring rain. You can also say:The heavens opened. or It's raining cats and dogs. A flood is a lot of water moving into an area. A flash flood moves into an area very quickly and is extremely dangerous.storms A thunderstorm is a storm with thunder and lightning and usually very heavy rain. A hurricane has very strong winds and begins at sea. A monsoon is a period of very heavy rain in particular countries, or the wind that brings this rain. A cyclone and a typhoon are types of violent tropical storms with very strong winds. A squall is a sudden strong, violent wind, usually in a rain or snow storm. A tornado (or informaltwister) has very strong winds that move in a circle, often with a long narrow cloud. A whirlwind moves very fast in a spinning movement and causes a lot of damage. A dust storm carries clouds of dust in the wind over a wide area. A blizzard is a snow storm with very strong winds. A whiteout is a blizzard in which you cannot see anything around you. Tempest is used mainly in literary language to describe a violent storm.Idioms
    come rain, come shine, (come) rain or shine
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    whether there is rain or sun; whatever happens He goes jogging every morning, rain or shine.
    (as) right as rain (informal)
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    in excellent health or condition
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: rain