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rain, n.1

Forms:  Old English hrægn (rare), Old English hren (rare), Old English rægn (rare), Old English regen (rare), Old English regn, Old English reng (rare), Old English–Middle English ren, late Old English hregn, late Old English ræn, late Old English reign, late Old English–1500s rein, early Middle English ræiȝn, early Middle English ræin, early Middle English rænæs (genitive), early Middle English ray (perhaps transmission error), early Middle English reȝȝn ( Ormulum), early Middle English repe (transmission error), early Middle English rne (transmission error), Middle English ran, Middle English reigne, Middle English reine, Middle English rene, Middle English reygne, Middle English reynne, Middle English rien, Middle English–1500s reyn, Middle English–1500s reyne, Middle English–1600s raine, Middle English–1600s rayn, Middle English–1600s rayne, Middle English– rain, 1500s raygne, 1800s raain (English regional (Berkshire)), 1800s ryne (Irish English (Wexford)); Scottish pre-1700 raane, pre-1700 raine, pre-1700 ran, pre-1700 rane, pre-1700 rayn, pre-1700 rayne, pre-1700 rean, pre-1700 reyn, pre-1700 1700s– rain, pre-1700 1900s– ren, 1800s rein (in compounds, rare), 1900s– rehn (north-eastern). (Show Less)
Frequency (in current use):  Show frequency band information
Origin: A word inherited from Germanic.
Etymology: Cognate with Old Frisian rein (West Frisian rein), Old Dutch rēgan (Middle Dutch rēgen, rēghen, rein, Dutch regen), Old Saxon regan, regin, (in compounds) regen (Middle Low German rēgen), Old High German regan, regen, regin (Middle High German regen, German Regen), Old Icelandic regn, Old Swedish räghn (Swedish regn, (now rare) rägn), Old Danish reghen, reyn (Danish regn), Gothic rign, Crimean Gothic reghen; further etymology unknown. The word has no secure cognates in other Indo-European languages.
In sense 5   after French pluie (1629 in this sense, in the passage translated in quot. 1629).
 I. Senses relating to water vapour.

 a. Condensed moisture of the atmosphere falling to the ground visibly in separate drops; the fall of such drops; rainwater.acid rain, storm of rain: see the first element.

eOE (Mercian)   Vespasian Psalter (1965) cxlvi. 8   Qui operit caelum nubibus et parat terrae pluuiam : se oferwirð heofen mid wolcnum & gearwað eorðan regn.
OE   Ælfric Old Eng. Hexateuch: Gen. (Claud.) vii. 4   Ic..sende ren nu embe seofan niht ofer eorðan.
lOE   Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Laud) anno 1117   Ðises geares..wurdon ormætlica wædera mid þunre & lihtinge & reine & hagole.
c1175   Ormulum (Burchfield transcript) l. 8678   Siþþenn fand ȝho mele inoh & elesæw to fode..till þatt..godd Gaff reȝȝn inoh onn eorþe.
a1250   in C. Brown Eng. Lyrics 13th Cent. (1932) 4 (MED)   Ne beoð heo neuer i-dreaued mid winde ne mid reine.
a1325  (c1250)    Gen. & Exod. (1968) l. 582   Reyn gette dun on euerilk stede Fowerti dais and fowerti nigt.
c1380   Sir Ferumbras (1879) 1558 (MED)   Hit semeþ sarasyns..þat prikeaþ as wynd & rayn.
a1440   Let. in Eng. Hist. Rev. (1940) 55 645 (MED)   The tymbur of his hous is roten be the rayn that falleth theron.
a1470   T. Malory Morte Darthur (Winch. Coll.) 1004   Furthewith there fylle a tempeste suddeyne of thundir and lyghtnynge and rayne.
a1500  (c1477)    T. Norton Ordinal of Alchemy (BL Add.) (1975) 2221 (MED)   Studientis in first philosophy Said Ayre condensid turned in to Rayne, And watir Rarified becom ayre agayne.
1577   B. Googe tr. C. Heresbach Foure Bks. Husbandry i. f. 45v   The Grasse being cutte,..yf it chaunce to be wette with rayne, it must not be turned, till the vpper part be dryed.
1635   J. Swan Speculum Mundi iv. §2. 64   The rain, proceeding from those vapours which we call the clouds.
1667   J. Milton Paradise Lost xi. 743   The thick'nd Skie Like a dark Ceeling stood; down rush'd the Rain Impetuous.  View more context for this quotation
1710   J. Addison Tatler No. 218. ⁋2   A black Cloud falling to the Earth in long Trails of Rain.
1759   B. Stillingfleet tr. I. Biberg Oeconomy Nature in Misc. Tracts Nat. Hist. 59   In these the rain is collected, and preserved for thirsty men, birds, and beasts.
1787   T. Jefferson Notes Virginia vii. 200   By this table it appears we have an average 47 inches of rain annually.
1810   W. Scott Lady of Lake v. 212   Fierce Roderick..showered his blows like wintry rain.
1895   T. Hardy Jude vi. i. 413   The rain came on more heavily, and all who had umbrellas opened them.
1905   Baroness Orczy Scarlet Pimpernel ii. 15   The weather..had suddenly broken up; for two days torrents of rain had deluged the south of England.
1922   E. Wharton Glimpses of Moon (1992) ii. 159   Her nerves were racked by the ceaseless swish-swish of the rain on the dirty panes.
1988   R. Rendell Veiled One (1989) xiv. 188   Rain was streaming down the window, making the glass opaque.
2006   ‘L. Burana’ Try xix. 230   They buttoned their collars to keep the rain off their necks and slopped over toward the pudding bowl arena.

eOE—2006(Hide quotations)


 b. In proverbial and similative expressions. See also to know enough to come in out of the rain at Phrases 1, blessed (also happy) is the corpse the rain falls on at Phrases 2, (as) right as rain at Phrases 3.rain or shine: see shine n.1 3a.

 [With quot. a1398   compare ancient Greek πέτρην κοιλαίνει ῥανὶς ὓδατος ἐνδελεχείῃ   with persistence a drop of water hollows out the stone ( Choerilus of Samos Fragments x.), classical Latin gutta cavat lapidem   a drop hollows out a stone ( Ovid Epist. 4. 10. 5).
In quots. 1654, 1766, 1979   with allusion to Matthew 5:45; compare:
1611   Bible (King James) Matt. v. 45   For he [sc. your father who is in heaven]..sendeth raine on the iust, and on the vniust.

a1250   in C. Brown Eng. Lyrics 13th Cent. (1932) 15 (MED)   Fair weder ofte him went to rene [v.r. repe].
a1398   J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomaeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum (BL Add.) f. 87v   Droppinge of reyne þurleþ a stone.
?a1400  (a1338)    R. Mannyng Chron. (Petyt) (1996) i. l. 6726   Þe arwes com als þik as reyn.
1484   W. Caxton tr. Subtyl Historyes & Fables Esope ii. viii   After the rayne cometh the fair weder [Fr. Apres la pluye vient le beau temps].
1654   R. Aylett Divine & Moral Speculations 109   Rain on bad and good alike do fall.
1670   J. Ray Coll. Eng. Prov. 135   Small rain lays great dust.
1766   ‘Claudero’ Misc. Prose & Verse 62   Rain falls upon the just and unjust; fire in like manner deprived this man of his All.
1845   R. Browning Twins in Poet. Wks. (1888–94) 90   Poor, who had plenty once, When gifts fell thick as rain.
1853   Notes & Queries 1st Ser. 8 218   Rain before seven, fine before eleven.
1889   Scribner's Mag. Sept. 278/1   But into each life some rain must fall.
1935   Jrnl. Amer. Folklore 48 195   If the rain comes before the wind Topsail halliards bear in mind. If the wind comes before the rain Hoist your topsails up again.
1961   A. Thirkell & C. A. Lejeune Three Score & Ten vii. 184   Ar, that were a bad sign for certain sure, rain before seven, fine before eleven, and stands to reason the contrairy [sic] holds.
1979   Guardian 16 June 8/2   The rain falleth upon the just and the unjust, though which is actually the unlucky lot seems in doubt.
1992   A. Gore Earth in Balance Introd. 16   The global environmental crisis is, as we say in Tennessee, real as rain.
2005   W. Wall This is Country 159   How's things with you? Mint, I say, apart from that fucker trying to nut me. Into each life some rain must fall.

a1250—2005(Hide quotations)

 2. In plural.

 a. Falls of rain; episodes or periods of rainfall. Also with the: rainfalls collectively.

OE   Blickling Homilies 51   On his onwealde is eal þes middangeard, & þas windas & ðas regnas syndon ealle his.
OE   Old Eng. Martyrol. (Julius) 20 Mar. 36   Ðære lyfte gecynd is þæt heo tehð to þa renas of ðæm sealtan sæ.
lOE   Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Laud) anno 1116   Ðis wæs swiðe geswincfull gear..þurh þa ormæte reinas þe coman sona onforan August.
c1175  (▸OE)    in A. O. Belfour 12th Cent. Homilies in MS Bodl. 343 (1909) 48   Eft he bæd þat þeo heofen sealde ræiȝnæs [OE Vercelli renas] & ðeo eorðæ hire wæstmæs.
a1225  (c1200)    Vices & Virtues (1888) 143 (MED)   Godd him ihierde..and wið[h]eld alle reines þrie hier and six moneþes.
1340   Ayenbite (1866) 124 (MED)   Sleȝþe..wereþ wyþ þet yeast be porueynge aye þe perils..Strengþ aye þet norþ..Iustice ay[e] þe west, a-ye þe wyckede raynes.
a1393   J. Gower Confessio Amantis (Fairf.) i. 2987 (MED)   The stormes and the Reines falle, The wyndes blowe upon him alle.
a1438   Bk. Margery Kempe (1940) i. 96 (MED)   Ther wer..gret tempestys þat ȝer of thunderys..of gret reynes & dyuers wederyngys.
c1475  (▸1392)    Surg. Treat. in MS Wellcome 564 f. 53v (MED)   He slepiþ longe & faste; he dremeþ of watris and of reynes.
1556   in J. G. Nichols Chron. Grey Friars (1852) 2   Thys yere felle gret raynes.
1582   Bible (Rheims) Acts xiv. 16   He left not himself without testimony, doing good from heaven, giving rains and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
1625   N. Carpenter Geogr. Delineated ii. i. 5   The extraordinary Raines & showers which those places suffer.
1697   J. Dryden tr. Virgil Æneis i, in tr. Virgil Wks. 232   Whence proceed th'Eclipses of the Sun..and whence The Rains arise, and Fires their Warmth dispense.
1719   D. Defoe Life Robinson Crusoe 160   It [sc. an umbrella] cast off the Rains like a Penthouse, and kept off the Sun..effectually.
1762   G. G. Beekman Let. 9 Aug. in Beekman Mercantile Papers (1956) I. 415   For three months past have not had above six Rains, and not one of those to wet 3 Inches in the Ground.
1846   M. A. Denham Coll. Prov. & Pop. Sayings (Percy Soc.) 54   Many rains, many rowans.
1878   T. H. Huxley Physiography (ed. 2) 48   The heavy tropical rains are usually confined to definite periods.
1926   Blackwood's Mag. Dec. 718/1   Huts..squalid and filthy and stinking, but for the most part newly roofed with dhani thatch against the rains.
1948   Life 6 Sept. 103/1 (advt.)    Between rains, Trico's ‘Two Little Squirts’ can wash away eye-straining dust, grime and roadsplash.
2006   Africa News (Nexis) 27 Mar.   The current Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) south of the Equator is likely to bring about more good rains over the country during the next three weeks.

OE—2006(Hide quotations)


 b. Chiefly with the. In certain regions, esp. in India: an annually recurring period of relatively high rainfall; = rainy season n. at rainy adj. Compounds 2.

1615   T. Elkington Let. to E. India Company 25 Feb. (BL: IOR/E/3/2/251)   To invest itt in Indico to bee in Surrat before the raynes.
1616   T. Roe in W. Foster Embassy to Great Mogul (1899) I. 247   A storme of rayne called the Oliphant, vsuall at goeing out of the raynes.
1719   D. Defoe Life Robinson Crusoe 122   I had sav'd the few Ears of Barley and Rice..and now I thought it a proper Time to sow it after the Rains, the Sun being in its Southern Position.
1776   Trial Maha Rajah Nundocomar for Forgery 65/2   Was it..before the rains that the army came there?
1817   J. Mill Hist. Brit. India II. v. iv. 439   The distance of Madras would aid the Rajah in spinning out the time till the commencement of the rains.
1895   B. M. Croker Village Tales (1896) 125   One rains he died.
1911   F. H. Burnett Secret Garden vii. 64   Everything is hot, and wet, and green after the rains in India.
1966   C. Ekwensi Lokotown (1983) 120   Athletic and springy on her feet, except during the rains, when she usually went down with a touch of rheumatism.
1997   P. Melville Ventriloquist's Tale (1998) ii. 175   It signals the advent of the rains and in the Rupununi district of the Guianas, in the red, parched savannahs, the fish-runs begin.

1615—1997(Hide quotations)


c. Nautical. An area of the Atlantic Ocean, in which rain is particularly frequent (see quot. 1728). Obsolete.

1687   E. Halley in Philos. Trans. 1686–7 (Royal Soc.) 16 166   There are..constant Calms in that part of the Ocean, called the Raines.
1728   E. Chambers Cycl.   Rains, in the Sea Language, is all that Tract of Sea to the Northward of the Equator, between 4 and 10 Degrees of Latitude; and lying between the Meridian of Cape Verde, and that of the Eastermost Islands of the same Name.
1867   W. H. Smyth & E. Belcher Sailor's Word-bk.   Rains..exist between the north-east and south-east trade-winds, changing their latitude several degrees.

1687—1867(Hide quotations)


 3. In singular. A fall of rain; a period, episode, or (specified) amount of rainfall. In later use chiefly North American, or with modifying adjective or phrase.

?c1225  (?a1200)    Ancrene Riwle (Cleo. C.vi) (1972) 181   Amuche wint alið wið anlute rein [a1400 Pepys a litel rayn felleþ a gret wynde].
a1325  (c1250)    Gen. & Exod. (1968) l. 3326   On morgen fel hem a dew a-gein; First he wenden it [sc. manna] were a rein.
c1405  (c1395)    G. Chaucer Wife of Bath's Tale (Hengwrt) (2003) Prol. l. 706   Er that thonder stynte comth a reyn.
a1425  (c1385)    G. Chaucer Troilus & Criseyde (1987) iii. 656   Lord, this is an huge rayn! This were a weder for to slepen inne.
a1450  (c1410)    H. Lovelich Hist. Holy Grail l. 439 (MED)   From hevene..it Cam þere In semblaunce Of Ryht A gret Reyn, and Into the fer it discended ful pleyn.
c1515   Ld. Berners tr. Bk. Duke Huon of Burdeux (1882–7) xiv. 39   A small rayne abatyth a grete wynd.
1597   T. Morley Plaine & Easie Introd. Musicke 69   It is no maruayle to see a Snayle after a Rayne to creep out of his shell.
1664   J. Evelyn Kalendarium Hortense 60 in Sylva   Rub Moss off your Trees after a soaking Rain.
1695   Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 19 495   A small drizling Rain..encreased to a very plentiful shower.
1711   J. Swift Jrnl. to Stella 1 Aug. (1948) I. 324   The queen and I..were both hindered by a sudden rain.
1766   T. Jefferson Let. 25 May in Papers (1950) I. 19   On the second [day] I drove two hours through as copious a rain as ever I have seen.
1833   C. Williams Fall River App. f. 04v   A rain, the first the earth had been blest with for some time, fell on that day.
1853   G. J. Cayley Las Alforjas II. 51   Set off in a mizzling rain.
1892   R. L. Stevenson & L. Osbourne Wrecker xix. 306   I had no taste..for a long drive at that hour of the night and in so merciless a rain.
1904   J. London Sea-wolf xxv. 239   The gray mist drove by us like a rain.
1956   N. Algren Walk on Wild Side ii. 165   The smells of coffee-and-banana dock, warehouse and orange-wharfed shore were borne into the room on the wash of a rain that had no shore at all.
1974   N. Gordimer Conservationist 218   The rain went on all night—a really good rain..steady and soaking.
2005   Canad. Geographic July 34/2   It [sc. mudstone] is hard-baked, but after a rain it becomes so slippery that young staffers ski down its slopes.

?c1225—2005(Hide quotations)

 II. Extended uses.
 4. Frequently with of.

 a. The descent of particles of a substance or of objects falling in the manner of rain; an instance of this; (also) such particles or objects themselves. Also frequently applied to a series of pummelling blows.

OE   Vercelli Homilies (1992) xv. 256   Þanon cymeð swiðe mycel blodig regn of ðam wolcne ofer ealle eorðan.
OE   Vercelli Homilies (1992) xxi. 359   On ðam dæge us byð ætywed..se blodiga stream & seo mycle fyrhto þara feonda & se fyrena ren, hæðenra granung & hyra heriga fyll.
a1325  (c1250)    Gen. & Exod. (1968) l. 1110   Sone so loth ut of sodome cam, Brend-fier rein ðe burge bi-nam.
a1387   J. Trevisa tr. R. Higden Polychron. (St. John's Cambr.) (1872) IV. 27 (MED)   In meny places of Italy blood sprang..out of þe welles, and reyn of melk [L. pluvia lactea] come doun from hevene.
a1425  (c1395)    Bible (Wycliffite, L.V.) (Royal) (1850) Ecclus. xliii. 20   The iȝe schal wondre on the fairnesse of whitnesse therof [sc. of the snow]; and an herte dredith on the reyn [a1382 E.V. weder; L. imbrem] therof.
a1542   T. Wyatt Coll. Poems (1969) 22   A rayn of teris, a clowde of derk disdain.
1563   W. Fulke Meteors iv. f. 53   So came the straunge rayne of iron.
1608   J. Sylvester in tr. G. de S. Du Bartas Deuine Weekes & Wks. (new ed.) Briefe Index sig. Nnn2v/1   Iupiters golden Raine in the lap of Danae.
a1676   J. Dunton Heavenly Pastime (1685) xvi. 62   Who hath ever heard that the World was watred with a rain of Sulphur?
1708   J. Philips Cyder ii. 192   O, may'st thou often see Thy furrows whiten'd by the woolly rain Nutriceous.
1753   Chambers's Cycl. Suppl.   These rains of frogs always happen after very dry seasons.
1822   P. B. Shelley Hellas 20   The batteries blazed, Kneading them down with fire and iron rain.
1859   C. Dickens Tale of Two Cities ii. xxi. 147   She..remained immovable close to him when the long-gathering rain of stabs and blows fell heavy.
1935   T. S. Eliot Murder in Cathedral ii. 75   A rain of blood has blinded my eyes.
1958   J. Wain Contenders vi. 132   Mrs. Sienkiewicz glared at me; I watched her hands, ready to beat off any sudden rain of blows.
2004   N.Y. Times (National ed.) 26 Oct. d5/4   Black rain, the atomic soot that fell for days after the [Hiroshima] explosion,..covered inhabitants for days.

OE—2004(Hide quotations)


 b. figurative and in figurative contexts. A descent or liberal bestowal of something immaterial, (in early use) esp. as a gift of God. Also of material things: a large or overwhelming quantity or supply; a profusion.

c1350   Apocalypse St. John: A Version (Harl. 874) (1961) 55 (MED)   Þai ne stiren nouȝth þe reynes [v.r. reyn] of grace forto duellen in þe hertes of þe synful.
?a1425   tr. Catherine of Siena Orcherd of Syon (Harl.) (1966) 70 (MED)   Heuene was not til þat tyme vndo wiþ þe keye of his precious blood, and þe reyn of riȝtwiisnes wolde suffre no man to passe.
c1475  (a1400)    J. Wyclif Eng. Wks. (1880) 307 (MED)   Siche cloudis..temperen not þe erþe bi reyn..men..occupien siche prelatis state bi gabbyng..& not bi reyn of goddis word.
1590   T. Lodge Rosalynde (1592) sig. I2v   Looke on mine eyes made red with rufull teares, From whence the raine of true remorse descendeth.
a1636   J. Rogers Godly Expos. First Epist. Peter (1650) iii. 430   Attend on Gods house, let the rain of the Word soak into thine heart.
1667   E. Waterhouse Short Narr. Fire London 116   This Rain of Fertility after Englands Sultre of war and dissension.
1739   J. Miller tr. Molière Cit turn'd Gentleman v. v. 172   The Rain of Prosperity waters, at all Seasons, the Garden of your Family.
1774   J. Wesley Let. 12 Apr. (1931) VI. 78   When it pleases God to take any of His children to Himself..He usually sends a gracious rain upon the survivors.
1820   P. B. Shelley To Skylark in Prometheus Unbound 203   From thy presence showers a rain of melody.
1889   ‘M. Twain’ Connecticut Yankee xxxviii. 488   He put on all his majesty and sat under this rain of contempt and insult unmoved.
1925   Times 16 Jan. 14/2   There was a constant rain of optimists pouring through this trade.
1942   R.A.F. Jrnl. 2 May 4   The continuous rain of pamphlets in all languages told of the enemy's defeats.
2005   St. Louis (Missouri) Post-Dispatch (Nexis) 28 July d1   In terms of volume, the rain of applause one might hear should Palmer play well this week would rival any thunderstorm.

c1350—2005(Hide quotations)


 5. A pyrotechnic mixture which produces a shower of brightly coloured sparks when lit; a firework producing such an effect; the shower itself. Frequently with modifying word, as azure rain, silver rain (see also golden rain n.).

1629   F. Malthus tr. Treat. Artific. Fire-workes vii. (heading)    How to make golden rayne [Fr. Comme il faut faire de la pluye d'or].
1684   R. Howlett School Recreat. (1701) 29   Golden Rain, or stremes of Fire, that will then at height descend in the Air like Rain.
1749   W. Frederick tr. G. Ruggieri & G. Sarti Descr. Machine for Fireworks 12, 130   Explosions of Serpents, Rains, and Stars.
1782   Encycl. Brit. IX. 6552/2   Gold rain for sky-rockets... Silver rain.
1819   C. Grotz Art of making Fireworks 17   To make Golden Rain.
1858   T. R. Jones Aquarian Naturalist 47   The azure, gold, and silver rain of the pyrotechnist.
1903   Times 5 Jan. 3/3   Showers of rockets and stars and golden rain..illuminated the whole city.
1950   Times 30 Dec. 4/2   Mr Alan St Hill Brock's talk on ‘Fireworks’ was accompanied by golden rain, shrill whistles, and explosions of gunpowder.
1969   Master Drawings 7 299/2   The lower part of this drawing shows how to make [the firework called] golden rain, formed of quills tamped with powder.
2004   Sun (Nexis) 26 Apr.   Beams of light echo around the sky and fireworks erupt from every level as the performers dance a hornpipe in the silver rain.

1629—2004(Hide quotations)



 P1. to know enough to come in out of the rain (and variants): to have adequate common sense or intelligence; to ‘know what's what’; chiefly in negative contexts. Cf. to know enough to come (or go) in when it rains at rain v. Phrases 3.

1599   H. Buttes Dyets Dry Dinner sig. B4   Fooles..have the wit to keep themselves out of the raine.
1848   F. A. Durivage Stray Subj. 95   Ham was one of 'em—he was! He ‘knew sufficient to get out of the rain’.
1884   ‘M. Twain’ Adventures Huckleberry Finn xiv. 112   De man dat think he kin settle a 'spute 'bout a whole chile wid a half a chile, doan' know enough to come in out'n de rain.
1920   ‘Sapper’ Bull-dog Drummond ii. 47   Either, James, I am a congenital idiot, and don't know enough to come in out of the rain; or we've hit the goods.
1932   ‘A. Gilbert’ Body on Beam i. 23   A girl who's lived..in Menzies Street knows when to come in out of the rain.
1999   J. Draycott Prince Rupert's Drop 39   Believing..that the servants didn't know enough to come in out of the rain, he has taken the path over the ha-ha in expectation of plenty.

1599—1999(Hide quotations)


 P2. Proverb. blessed (also happy) is the corpse the rain falls on and variants: used to express the superstition that a person who is buried on a rainy day will fare well in the afterlife. Similarly blessed are the dead that the rain rains on, etc.Apparently with the implication that the heavens are weeping in sympathy. Sometimes used in conjunction with the phrase happy (also blessed) is the bride the sun shines on at bride n.1 Phrases 2.

1607   ‘W. S.’ Puritaine i. sig. A4   Oh..such a sweete husband haue I lost, haue I lost?—if Blessed bee the coarse the raine raynes vpon, he had it powring downe.
1777   J. Brand Observ. Pop. Antiq. 53   Happy (says the Proverb) is..the Corpse the Rain rains on.
1837   W. H. Ainsworth Rookwood (ed. 4) ii. xi. 147   Blessed is the corpse the rain rains on. Sir Piers may be drenched through his leaden covering by such a downfall as that... The heavens will weep for him.
1917   E. Thomas Poems 55   Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain On this bleak hut... Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon: But here I pray that none whom once I loved Is dying to-night.
2015   Daily News (N.Y.) (Nexis) 13 Nov.   ‘Something came to mind on the way here,’ Mullins said. ‘An old Irish saying: Happy is the bride the sun shines on, happy is the corpse the rain falls on.’

1607—2015(Hide quotations)


 P3. (as) right as rain : absolutely fine, perfect; (of a person) completely fit and well. Also as adv.: without any problem, perfectly.

1891   G. Parker in Good Words May 330   ‘Right as rain,’ said the engineers.
1894   E. Œ. Somerville & ‘M. Ross’ Real Charlotte II. xx. 78   If only this infernal Fitzpatrick girl would have stayed with her cads in Dublin everything would have been as right as rain.
1908   A. S. M. Hutchinson Once aboard Lugger vi. vi. 332   We'll pull through right as rain.
1951   S. H. Bell December Bride ii. xi. 169   The wean will be as right as rain in a day or two.
1970   P. Dickinson Seals i. 14   That damned gadget might..be functioning right as rain in thirty seconds, or it might be spitchered for ever.
2000   I. Edward-Jones My Canapé Hell (2001) x. 249   What she needs is some early nights, proper food and a few walks and she'll be right as rain.

1891—2000(Hide quotations)



 a. General attributive or in appositive use.

  rain barrel   n.

1844   Mass. Ploughman 7 Sept. 2/5   The electricity descended the water spout and entering the rain barrel, diverged and passed out.., making a hole through the staves.
1945   N. L. McClung Stream runs Fast xxix. 283   A white house, with rain barrels at each side.
2000   Disability Now May 35/1   Attach a length of hosepipe to the tap of your rain barrel for easier watering.

1844—2000(Hide quotations)


  rain blast   n.

1863   G. M. Hopkins Poems (1967) 12   But if the rain-blasts be unbound And from dank feathers wring the drops.
1935   Daily Times-News (Burlington, N. Carolina) 30 Dec. 1/5   Wilmington..had rain blasts and heavy sleet.
2005   N.Z. Herald (Nexis) 31 May   Auckland sheltered from the wintry rain blasts sweeping across the city.

1863—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain blur   n.

1920   Fort Wayne (Indiana) Jrnl.-Gaz. 2 May 20/7   Wizard windshield attachment... rain blur vanishes like magic.
2005   Herald Express (Torquay) (Nexis) 26 Jan. 8   Beyond the fields, stepping in and out of the rain blur, was Outer Froward Point and the Mew Stone.

1920—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain cloud   n.

[1727   Help Understanding of Holy Script. 70   It, whether Common-rain Cloud, or that with the Rain-bow in it, is turn'd round about by his [sc. God's] Counsels.]
1755   A. Berthelson tr. E. Pontoppidan Nat. Hist. Norway i. i. 25   We see them hover like rain-clouds.
1803   L. Howard On Modifications of Clouds 6   Cumulo-cirro-stratus vel Nimbus... The rain cloud.
1915   Chambers's Jrnl. Jan. 54/1   I planed into a rain-cloud yesterday.
2003   New Yorker 22 Sept. 158/2   During the ceremony, rain clouds had grumbled overhead and now the shower began.

1755—2003(Hide quotations)


  rain-course   n.

1801   R. Southey Thalaba I. iii. 135   The winter torrent rolls Down the deep-channelled rain-course, foamingly.
1882   H. D. Rawnsley Sonnets at Eng. Lakes (ed. 2) 34   The shaggy heads and shoulders of the Pikes, sculptured by numerous rain-courses, suggest, at a distance, the appearance of mane and hair.
1909   Baedeker's Central Italy & Rome (ed. 15) vi. 44   Castelnuovo Beradenga, in a bleak district of barren clay-hills, deeply furrowed by rain-courses.

1801—1909(Hide quotations)


  rain cult   n.

1894   M. C. Stevenson in C. S. Wake Mem. Internat. Congr. Anthropol. xxix. 315   A complete system of rain cult has been instituted by these people of an arid land.
1923   L. Spence Gods of Mexico i. 11   We shall..attempt to descry..an incipient rain-cult.
2002   Jrnl. South Afr. Stud. 28 180   Anthropological and historical research has usually focussed on either the rain cults or on nyau.

1894—2002(Hide quotations)


  rain-curtain   n.

1855   Putnam's Monthly Mag. Feb. 120/1   South of us a grey rain-curtain was drawn across the river, shutting out everything beyond.
1926   M. Leinster Dew on Leaf ii. iii. 159   The rain-curtain that swayed like a grey chiffon veil before Rhona's window.
2006   Times Colonist (Victoria, Brit. Columbia) (Nexis) 6 July a1   The $350,000 feature..would include a 4.5-metre-high watering can emitting clouds of mist, a rain curtain and long sprays of water.

1855—2006(Hide quotations)


  raindew   n.

1851   F. A. Fuller in F. A. Fuller & M. V. Fuller Poems 102   The thirsty sun is drinking up The rain-dew from the flower-cup.
1922   J. Joyce Ulysses ii. xiv. [Oxen of the Sun] 402   The air without is impregnated with raindew moisture.
1997   G. Bear Slant (1998) 313   The air is full of tinkling raindew that lands sweetly on their hands, warming like alcohol on the tongue.

1851—1997(Hide quotations)


  rain ditch   n.

1869   Jrnl. Royal Geogr. Soc. 39 200   Every now and then we found a rain-ditch with powdered salt in it.
1927   Pinedale (Wyoming) Roundup 29 Sept. 1/5   Work upon the other rain ditches has been completed.
2005   News-Press (Fort Myers, Florida) (Nexis) 26 Sept. b3   The county needed some of their land along the road to accommodate the job, which included installing proper rain ditches.

1869—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain-drift   n.

1863   Atlantic Monthly Aug. 183/1   No actual rain-drift stretching from them, but such unmistakable promise..as would make a provident farmer order every scythe out of the field.
1910   W. De Morgan Affair of Dishonour xiii. 207   The rain-drift..strengthened ever from the seaward.
1981   A. Waterman Out for Elements ii. 98   The mountains shrugging..Through sun or raindrifts.

1863—1981(Hide quotations)


  rain guard   n.

1887   Morning Oregonian (Portland, Oregon) 9 Apr. 6/1   I put my umbrella up. The soft gentle patter of his tears rattling on the raw silk... I lowered my rain guard, and the youth..seated himself.
1960   E. W. Teale Journey into Summer 235   At the base of every leaf there is a rain guard that prevents water from seeping down between the stalk and the leaf.
1983   Birds Summer 45/1   A rain guard can be useful to keep the lenses clean.
2005   Asheville (N. Carolina) Citizen-Times (Nexis) 17 Mar. 5   The victim told the officer that rain guards were stolen off the vehicle.

1887—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain gutter   n.

1830   Atlantic Souvenir 67   Across this [narrow ridge] a rain gutter had been formed, which, gradually widening, had become a deep and dangerous gulf.
1917   Newark (Ohio) Advocate 11 Jan. 7/5   We see Pearl..hurled down the sloping roof and saving herself by clinging to the rain gutter.
1991   Cycling Weekly 27 July 29/2   They have a rack to fit just about every car with rain gutters and without.

1830—1991(Hide quotations)


  rainlight   n.

1877   E. M. A. Heron Balance of Pain 65   The Vision moves—the iris rainlight faints To ghostly white of mist.
1904   W. H. Hudson Green Mansions x. 143   This subdued rain-light did not last long.
1996   Slate Mag. (Nexis) 29 Oct.   North Avenue in the puddled early rainlight.

1877—1996(Hide quotations)


  rain load   n.

1928   C. F. S. Gamble Story N. Sea Air Station xv. 249   Rain load also had to be reckoned with, which may go as far as 3,000 kg.
2006   Calgary (Alberta) Herald (Nexis) 24 June 15   All roofs undergo stress from snow and rain loads, so it is possible a truss or rafter may become damaged.

1928—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain mist   n.

1857   Ladies' Repository Apr. 210/2   By and by I saw the rain-mists gathering over it in the sky.
1936   Discovery Aug. 242/2   A leaf which is slightly damp with dew or rain-mist.
2004   B. Lightbody Second World War iv. xv. 103   All contact was lost in thick rain mist as the lead cruisers conducted zigzag manoeuvres to guard against possible attack.

1857—2004(Hide quotations)


  rain pipe   n.

1783   H. C. Jennings Summary & Free Refl. 174   They might even have Calibeats or any other Waters they wished for in seperate Wells, tho' supplied by the same Rain Pipes.
1852   A. R. M. Payne Geral-Milco ii. iii. 238   The monstrous stone snakes..were hollow, and nothing more nor less than rain pipes on a large scale.
1913   J. Masefield Daffodil Fields 92   The water..gurgled through the rain-pipe to the butt.
2005   Jakarta Post (Nexis) 27 Sept. 18   Rainwater would automatically flow to the direction of the park, so they could make a rain pipe channeling the water straight to Ayodya's lake.

1783—2005(Hide quotations)


rain-rift   n. Obsolete

c1400  (?c1380)    Cleanness (1920) 368 (MED)   Mony clustered clowde clef alle in clowtez, To-rent uch a rayn-ryfte & rusched to þe urþe.

c1400—c1400(Hide quotations)


  rainshine   n.

1916   P. Mackaye Caliban by Yellow Sands iii. i. 115   O wonder, what art thou That fillest so mine eyes with rain-shine?
1975   C. K. Stead in V. O'Sullivan Anthol. 20th Cent. N.Z. Poetry (1987) 265   He had seen rainshine, he had seen sunfall.

1916—1975(Hide quotations)


  rain song   n.

1861   R. T. Cooke Poems 72   Out of the black East a rain-song is sighing, Pitiless, desolate, death is at hand!
1907   N. Curtis Indians' Bk. 365   The Rain-Youth made the rain-songs and gave them to the Navajos.
2006   News & Observer (Raleigh, N. Carolina) (Nexis) 28 Apr. a1   Forecasters, water officials and lawn lovers were all singing their collective rain songs as a steady rain fell on a thirsty Triangle.

1861—2006(Hide quotations)


  rainsquall   n.

1661   T. Allin Jrnl. 29 Aug. (1939) (modernized text) I. 51   Rain squalls and very much wind.
1838   E. A. Poe Narr. Arthur Gordon Pym xvii. 143   Whenever we had a westerly wind, which was seldom, it was invariably attended with a rain squall.
1902   J. Conrad Youth 40   Before sunset a thick rain-squall passed over the two boats.
2003   High Country News 9 June 7/2   A rainsquall hit for a minute and chilled me.

1661—2003(Hide quotations)


  rain stain   n.

1855   Plain Talk & Friendly Advice to Domestics i. 32   When a sleeping-room is to be prepared for the reception of guests, your duty is to see that..there are no rain-stains upon the window-seats.
1923   W. de la Mare Riddle 183   The mosses and rain-stains and frost-flowerings of centuries of autumns and winters.
2003   New Straits (Malaysia) Times (Nexis) 6 July 8   Rain stains on the car windshield and windows, are annoying, ugly and dangerous.

1855—2003(Hide quotations)


  rain tank   n.

1868   R. F. Burton Lett. from Paraguay 174   The flat roof draining into the Aljibe, rain-tank, or cistern.
1965   S. T. Olivier Petticoat Farm xii. 164   The two rain tanks that were the only means of water supply in the Andrews' house lay irreparably crushed.
2006   Courier-Mail (Brisbane) (Nexis) 8 June 26   My parents investigated the ‘green’ house concept, including solar power, rain tanks and water recycling.

1868—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-tear   n.

1854   C. G. Halpine Lyrics 142   No rain-tears there, no cutting blast of angry words.
1868   ‘G. Eliot’ Spanish Gypsy (1989) ii. 231   Bright, O bright Fedalma! Pure as rain-tear on a rose-leaf.
1916   Fort Wayne (Indiana) News 6 Apr. 16/5   The rain-tears together Journey to the restless sea.

1854—1916(Hide quotations)


  rain-time   n.  [compare Middle Low German (rare) rēgenstīt, German Regenzeit (Middle High German (in late sources) regenzeit)]

c1450  (?c1425)    St. Mary of Oignies i. ix, in Anglia (1885) 8 142   She..in þe rayne-tyme come home ageyne vntouched.
1582   S. Batman Vppon Bartholome, De Proprietatibus Rerum xviii. f. 337v/2   Some [fish] wexeth fat in the Northerne winde,..& some in Southern winde,..and some in raine time, as Aristotle sayeth.
1726   N. Uring Hist. Voy. & Trav. 354   The Country is all a Flat, and great Part of it a Morass, with several large Lagunes, which in the Rain-times are almost all over-flowed.
1851   H. T. Cheever Life in Sandwich Islands iv. 90   And when the rain-time has come, there is rain indeed!
1919   Modesto (Calif.) Evening News 22 Feb. 6/1 (advt.)    Rain-time is planting time.
1994   J. Harkins Bridging Two Worlds vi. 150   Green-time..is the period of lush growth after rains (or rain-time ).

c1450—1994(Hide quotations)


  rain vapour   n.

1922   J. Joyce Ulysses ii. xiv. [Oxen of the Sun] 403   Those burgeoning stars overhead, rutilant in thin rainvapour.
2004   Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nexis) 22 May 3   Rain vapors are too heavy and powerful to be blown away.

1922—2004(Hide quotations)


  rain washing   n.

1854   N. P. Willis Let. 7 May in Out-doors at Idlewild (1855) lvi. 385   He might..neglect altogether to foresee the incidentalnesses of up hill and down, rain-washings to the road, frost-heavings to walls, etc.
1935   Cullman (Alabama) Democrat 18 Apr.   Copper screens need painting, too, to prevent staining to house due to rain washing.
1998   Jrnl. Amer. Inst. Conservation 37 187/1   The soiling patterns on the cathedral are determined by the competing processes of pollutant deposition and rain washing.

1854—1998(Hide quotations)


rain-weather   n.  [compare German Regenwetter (16th cent.), Old Swedish räghnvädher (Swedish regnväder)] Obsolete

a1398   J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomaeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum (BL Add.) f. 226   Wormes brediþ..and schendeþ þe greynes..in reyn weder after passynge hete.
?1527   L. Andrewe tr. Noble Lyfe Bestes sig. li   In fayre weder he reioyseth sore, but whan it is rayne weder, than it singeth selden.

a1398—?1527(Hide quotations)


  rainworld   n.

1902   F. W. Bourdillon Ailes d'Alouette 52   The rivers of a rainless land, Which some far rain-world fills.
2001   Chinosole Afr. Diaspora & Autobiographics iii. 42   The image of fire contrasts with Lee's rainworld.

1902—2001(Hide quotations)

 b. Instrumental, chiefly with past participles, forming adjectives.

  rain-affected adj.

1905   Daily Chron. 26 July 1/7   A brilliant innings by Darling was the redeeming feature of Australia's batting on a rain-affected wicket at Manchester.
2005   Northern Echo (Nexis) 15 Aug. 20   They were the only side to win in Saturday's rain-affected programme.

1905—2005(Hide quotations)


rain-awakened adj. Obsolete

1820   P. B. Shelley To Skylark in Prometheus Unbound 204   Rain-awakened flowers.
1890   Macmillan's Mag. Nov. 59/2   The rain-awakened scent of the flowers.

1820—1890(Hide quotations)


rain-beat adj. Obsolete

1598   Bp. J. Hall Virgidemiarum: 3 Last Bks. iv. iii. 22   Figures halfe Obliterate: In rain-beat Marble.
1607   J. Marston What you Will iii. i. sig. D3v   By the sole warrant of a Lapy-beard, A raine beate plume, and a good chop filling oth.
1870   W. Morris Earthly Paradise: Pt. IV 370   The clash Of rain-beat boughs and wildering lightning-flash.
1886   National Rev. Apr. 54   Once more, the long unbroken lonely line, With rain-beat corn-nick dark against the sky.

1598—1886(Hide quotations)


  rain-beaten adj.

c1450   Treat. Fishing in J. McDonald et al. Origins of Angling (1963) 137 (MED)   He cummet home at even, reyn beton, soyr prykud with thornes.
a1529   J. Skelton Colyn Cloute (?1545) sig. A.iii   Though my ryme be ragged..Rudely rayne beaten.
1606   J. Reynolds Dolarnys Primerose D iv b   T'haue deckt, and trim'd, this now rainbeaten face.
1859   A. Cary Pictures Country Life 316   The country doctor sits dreamily by the fire, hearing imperfectly the neighing of his rain-beaten horse.
1914   W. B. Yeats in Poetry (Chicago) May 60   The pale unsatisfied ones Appear and disappear..With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones.
2005   Providence (Rhode Island) Jrnl. (Nexis) 25 Oct. g2   Rain-beaten tall grasses, such as miscanthus, should be staked and tied for autumn display.

c1450—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain-bedraggled adj.

1857   Reedsburg (Wisconsin) Herald 26 Dec. 1/6   Out burst the naughty sun, lighting up..the rain-bedraggled procession.
1902   Times 13 June 10/4   They are already rain bedraggled, and the wreaths, with the dirty white bows, are surely more suggestive of a funeral than a Coronation.
2006   Independent (Nexis) 31 May 34   Five minutes later, a car was sent round to pick up a rain-bedraggled di Vita.

1857—2006(Hide quotations)


rain-berun adj. Obsolete

▸ ?1440   tr. Palladius De re Rustica (Duke Humfrey) (1896) vii. 73 (MED)   At the hed of Aust hit is to plaunt In londis wete, or ellis rayn bironne [L. pluuia initiante madefacto].

?1440—?1440(Hide quotations)


  rain-bleared adj.

1849   M. Arnold Strayed Reveller, & Other Poems 21   Grey, rain-blear'd statues.
1950   Lethbridge (Alberta) Herald 15 Sept. 9/2   Passing each car we peered through the rain-bleared windshield.
1994   Calgary (Alberta) Herald (Nexis) 13 Jan. a19   His use of blackouts, erratic editing and shots through a rain-bleared camera lens is more disorienting than effective.

1849—1994(Hide quotations)


  rain-blown adj.

1868   Petersburg (Va.) Index 11 Sept.   Above him the wreck and the drift..And the rain-blown face of the storm.
1917   R. Graves Fairies & Fusiliers 24   I'm away to the rain-blown hill.
2006   Edmonton (Alberta) Jrnl. (Nexis) 6 June w30   The remote, rain-blown track.

1868—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-blurred adj.

1856   Southern Literary Messenger 23 151   Through the rain-blurred and beaten casement..Fled bars of light.
1901   ‘L. Malet’ Hist. Richard Calmady v. i. 384   Actuality of rain-blurred, wind-scourged town without, and anger-begetting memories of Brockhurst within.
2006   Herald Express (Torquay) (Nexis) 11 Feb. 39   Small bridges, small rivers, small hills, small fields, and rain-blurred skies—it was a familiar February country scene.

1856—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-born adj. chiefly poetic

1808   C. Wilkins Gram. Sanskrĭta Lang. iii. 54   Varṣābhū, a frog (rain-born).
1854   R. Montgomery Poet. Wks. 62   The gem-like radiance of thy form admire, And liquid blending of thy rain-born hues.
1925   News (Frederick, Maryland) 3 Sept. 4/5   Rain-born in the mountain, dew-born in the mead.
1995   J. Duran Breathe now Breathe 26   A fishbone from her teeth Recalls how the rainborn snap of sun Demeaned her skin.

1808—1995(Hide quotations)


  rain-bound adj.

1849   J. Kenyon Day at Tivoli 136   Some rain-bound traveller, in ennui's despair, May cast a moment's notice on thee.
1928   Kingsport (Tennessee) Times 6 May 1/3   The Spanish aviators..were rain-bound here today and it was believed, will not likely get off tomorrow.
1993   L. Langbauer in A. A. Fisch et al. Other Mary Shelley 191   As the story opens, its narrator, finding himself rainbound in Switzerland, is reminded of Byron.

1849—1993(Hide quotations)


  rain-bright adj.

1818   H. H. Milman Samor xii. 344   Freshens the circuit of the rain-bright grove.
1913   M. J. Cawein Minions of Moon I. 32   Her eyes were rain-bright.
1988   Los Angeles Times (Nexis) 3 Jan. i. 4   Crossing a rain-bright street after a joyous midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, Frank Bors looked up sharply at the sound of a sudden roar.

1818—1988(Hide quotations)


  rain-bruised adj.

1894   Chambers's Jrnl. 29 Sept. 640   Summer's flowers are dead, Their rain-bruised blossoms all forgotten lie.
1916   D. H. Lawrence Amores 130   The rain~bruised leaves are suddenly shaken.
2001   St. Louis (Missouri) Post-Dispatch (Nexis) 23 Sept. t3   We drove south under rain-bruised clouds that floated in our direction.

1894—2001(Hide quotations)


  rain-burdened adj.

1854   E. A. C. Let. 27 July in Weekly Argus & Democrat (Madison, Wisconsin) (1855) 1 Aug.   Rain-burdened clouds, of a dark and watery hue, form the drapery of the sky.
1874   J. G. Holland Mistress of Manse xix. 55   Turn with hurried feet, and straight The deep, rain-burdened grasses through.
1932   D. Gascoyne Rom. Balcony 15   Clouds rear, Dark and ominous, rain~burdened.
1997   Observer (Nexis) 27 July (Life Suppl.) 47   The river..rolls out, placid, fast and deep, towards the Bavarian plain and the rain-burdened evening sky.

1854—1997(Hide quotations)


  rain-cold adj.

1916   E. Pound Lustra 22   Grey olive leaves beneath a rain-cold sky.
1984   T. Hughes Coll. Animal Poems (1995) 78   A toppling pyramid Of sixty or more Mudded, rain-cold, probably rotten eggs.

1916—1984(Hide quotations)


  rain-darkened adj.

1883   R. Broughton Belinda II. vi. 283   Whether in sunny boat on flashing river..or in little rain-darkened early-English drawing-room, is not it now all one to her?
1928   V. Woolf Orlando v. 224   Her eyes slowly lowered themselves down and down till they came to the rain-darkened earth.
2006   Times Colonist (Victoria, Brit. Columbia) (Nexis) 11 Nov. e1   The views across the harbour take in rain-darkened forests receding to black.

1883—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-dishevelled   adj.

1876   J. B. L. Warren Soldier of Fortune iii. ii. 254   Some cattle-minded faun, fit occupant For the rough brakes and rain-dishevelled glens.
1917   D. H. Lawrence Look! We have come Through! 56   I listen For the sluicing of their rain-dishevelled petals.

1876—1917(Hide quotations)


  rain-drenched adj.

1826   Torch Light & Public Advertiser (Hagers-Town, Maryland) 3 Jan. 1/2   You all know how oft, rain-drenched like a drowned rat,..I have trudged to your doors.
1932   D. Gascoyne Rom. Balcony 75   To wait in the weary, rain-drenched queues.
2006   Press (Christchurch, N.Z.) (Nexis) 26 Apr. 4   Thousands of rain-drenched people stood in silence.

1826—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-fed adj.

1855   T. B. Aldrich Bells 73   My eyelids swelled like rain-fed clouds in June.
1936   Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald 18 Mar. 9/1   The rain-fed waters of the raging Potomac River and Wills Creek receded today.
2006   Christian Sci. Monitor (Nexis) 10 Nov. 9   Poor farmers work marginal, rain-fed lands.

1855—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-filled adj.

1854   Putnam's Monthly Mag. June 580/2   The tall trees of the forest draw down the rain-filled cloud.
1920   F. S. Fitzgerald This Side of Paradise ii. v. 274   A..scattering of people whose eyes as they emerged glanced invariably, first at the wet street, then at the rain-filled air.
2003   Big Issue in Scotl. 15 May 29 (caption)    Like toffee doddles, tattie scones and rain-filled summer seasons Oor Wullie and The Broons are singularly Scottish.

1854—2003(Hide quotations)


  rain-flawed adj.

a1918   W. Owen Poems (1931) 94   Or be you in the gutter where you stand, Pale rain-flawed phantom of the place.

a1918—a1918(Hide quotations)


  rain-fragrant adj.

1916   J. Joyce Portrait of Artist v. 268   The brother's face was bent upon her fair rain fragrant hair.
2002   Statesman (India) (Nexis) 21 Oct.   Ah, rain-fragrant, white and how lonely the path!

1916—2002(Hide quotations)


  rain-gorged adj.

1911   Washington Post 22 July 1/5   Some were left in the middle of rain-gorged streams, when their automobiles suddenly stopped.
2006   Rocky Mountain News (Denver) (Nexis) 2 Sept. 3 d   The rain-gorged Arkansas swept through central Pueblo in surges.

1911—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-heavy adj.

1906   W. H. Ogilvie in B. Stevens Anthol. Austral. Verse 240   Rain-heavy from the Cowra hills She takes her vengeance sweet.
2005   Independent 26 Feb. (Mag.) 51/1   Cycling through those villages, surrounded by wide cornfields and overswept by rain-heavy clouds.

1906—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain-laden adj.

1773   J. Macpherson tr. Homer Iliad II. xvi. 138   Beneath the rain-laden winds, the whole world is unrapt, in thick gloom.
1880   R. Kipling From Sea to Sea I. xiv. 329   The grey, rain-laden atmosphere.
1916   J. Joyce Portrait of Artist v. 204   The rain laden trees of the avenue evoked in him, as always, memories of the girls and women in the plays of Gerhart Hauptmann.
2006   Irish Times (Nexis) 1 Aug. 20   All afloat were thoroughly soaked from the waves of rain-laden fronts.

1773—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-laid adj.

1921   W. de la Mare Mem. Midget viii. 47   We..mounted into a four-wheeled cab, and once more were in motion in the rain-laid dust.
1970   G. E. Evans Where Beards wag All viii. 90   On some Suffolk farms it was used in the 'fifties, though admittedly for special jobs like..the saving of wind- or rain-laid crops.

1921—1970(Hide quotations)


  rain-lashed adj.

1839   New-Yorker 23 Feb. 1/1   Thy smile triumphant soothes the rain-lashed earth.
1953   S. Plath Jrnl. 24 Jan. (2000) 164   Looking out of the window into the thick, steamy, rain-lashed dripping air.
2002   Cycling Weekly 30 Nov. 26/2   The aftermath of rain-lashed British winter festivities.

1839—2002(Hide quotations)


  rain-logged adj.

1938   Nebraska State Jrnl. 22 June 8/3   The early players found a rain logged course.
2005   Scotsman (Nexis) 15 Jan. 35   My wife and I landed in mid-November at windswept, rain-logged and empty Marco Polo airport.

1938—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain-loud adj.

1926   A. Huxley Two or Three Graces 173   Peddley broke the rain-loud silence.

1926—1926(Hide quotations)


rain-molested adj. Obsolete

1846   H. W. Longfellow To Old Danish Song-bk. in Belfry of Bruges 85   Yellow are thy time-worn pages, As the russet, rain-molested Leaves of autumn.

1846—1846(Hide quotations)


  rain-murmured adj.

1942   W. Faulkner in Story Mag. May 51/2   The tent, the rain-murmured canvas globe, was filled with it once more.

1942—1942(Hide quotations)


  rain-pitted adj.

1916   H. G. Wells Mr. Britling sees it Through ii. iii. 285   Flares played upon the rain-pitted black waves.
2000   Sun Times (Owen Sound, Ont.) (Nexis) 24 July a4 (caption)    A pair of butterflies rest on the rain-pitted sands.

1916—2000(Hide quotations)


  rain-pocked adj.

1931   V. Woolf Waves 227   One bone lay rain-pocked and sun-bleached.
2006   Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Jrnl. Sentinel (Nexis) 6 Sept. a2   The beach's moist sand is a shade darker than usual, rain-pocked and fragrant.

1931—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-rusted adj.

1917   J. P. Bishop Green Fruit 37   Between rain-rusted leaves And rank wet growths.
1996   Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Nexis) 12 July c1   Rain-rusted Northwesterners aren't used to hot weather.

1917—1996(Hide quotations)


  rain-scented adj.

1818   J. Keats Endymion i. 8   Rain-scented eglantine.
1901   J. Barlow Ghost-bereft 150   O'er wet woods, o'er green meadows rain-scented, The waft of a wind goes by.
2005   Christian Sci. Monitor (Nexis) 9 Aug. 18   I walked back to the cabin, relishing the cool, rain-scented air after several weeks of stifling heat.

1818—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain-shimmery adj.

1903   in N.E.D. at Rain sb.1   Rain-shimmery.

1903—1903(Hide quotations)


  rain-sleeked adj.

1905   Academy 21 Oct. 1103/1   The league-footing hare..shot from her form with tawny and rain-sleeked coat.
2001   Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller-Times (Nexis) 9 Mar. e17   It was an hour-long hedonistic exhibition of cops driving Ferraris down rain-sleeked moonlit streets.

1905—2001(Hide quotations)


  rain-slick adj.

1914   Oakland (Calif.) Tribune 15 Nov. 34/2   There were rain-slick boulevards, slippery and narrow mountain roads.
1998   T. C. Boyle Riven Rock 21   Very faintly..came the anguished cry of the Apron Man echoing across the rain-slick grounds.

1914—1998(Hide quotations)


  rain-slicked adj.

1930   Fresno (Calif.) Bee 10 Dec. 6- b/1   Much of the distance traveled on the fast run was over rain-slicked highways.
2006   Arts & Bks. Rev. (Nexis) 27 Oct. 6   A place of old mansions, smoky clubs and rain-slicked streets.

1930—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-soaked adj.

1789   ‘P. Pindar’ Subj. for Painters 4   Drooping, rain-soak'd fowls.
1856   T. B. Butler Philos. Weather vi. 110   The rain-soaked snow is hard and solid.
1945   W. de la Mare Burning-glass & Other Poems 76   Tipped arrow, ivoried bow, and rain-soaked quiver.
2006   Sunday Herald (Glasgow) (Nexis) 12 Nov. 2   Many came in wheelchairs, many more under rainsoaked umbrellas.

1789—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-sodden adj.

1860   A. C. Swinburne Rosamond in Two Plays iv. 203   Wet strips of hyacinth, rain-sodden bells.
1904   Westm. Gaz. 10 May 2/1   The Cossacks were drawn up on a large, rain-sodden, muddy field.
2001   N. Jones Rough Guide Trav. Health ii. 175   A number of cases [of trenchfoot] have been reported after rain-sodden outdoor rock festivals.

1860—2001(Hide quotations)


  rain-stained adj.

1860   Harper's Mag. Dec. 83/1   Rain-stained windows; bare, white-washed, and partly ‘peeled’ walls.
a1905   L. Wallace Autobiogr. (1906) II. ii. x. 936   The cedar rafters, rainstained as those in the dining-hall of Cedric the Saxon.
2006   Express (Nexis) 9 June 46   The rain-stained, two-tone grey of Bolton fish market now seems a million miles away.

1860—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-starred adj.

1898   G. C. Lodge Song of Wave 39   Just rain-starred, blowing grass, The scent of the fluent air.
1958   L. Durrell Balthazar iii. 62   The gonfalons bellied like sails in the rain-starred afternoon.
2003   J. Brown Black Valley (2004) 100   A dirty gray, diffused light oozed in through rain-starred windows.

1898—2003(Hide quotations)


  rain-streaked adj.

1873   Catholic World July 499/1   Seen from the front, this house was a little, melancholy, rain-streaked, wooden cottage.
1956   H. Gold Man who was not with It xii. 100   The carnival smelled the same, and the rain-streaked sign swung there.
2006   Leader-Post (Regina, Sask.) (Nexis) 20 Nov. b8   I peer out of the rain-streaked window, my eyes drawn to the dark grey clouds, rumbling overhead.

1873—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-sunken adj.

1916   E. Blunden Harbingers 20   Rainsunken roof, grown green and thin For sparrows' nests and starlings' nests.
1996   Commerc. Appeal (Nexis) 27 Oct. 4 b   Technical crews were walking through a wooded area last week when they found a piece of scrap metal sticking up from some rain-sunken dirt.

1916—1996(Hide quotations)


  rain-sweet adj.

1890   Overland Monthly Dec. 575   Like swelling seas borne in on flowing tide, Beneath God's rain-sweet winds.
1913   W. de la Mare Peacock Pie 127   Feathered birds in the rain-sweet sky.
1996   Albuquerque (New Mexico) Tribune (Nexis) 10 Sept. c1   Music from the Villa Hispana carries on the rain-sweet breeze.

1890—1996(Hide quotations)


  rain-swept adj.

1849   W. E. Channing Woodman 24   Loftier shores, with rain-swept grooves of soil.
1932   E. Blunden Face of Eng. 177   Those blackening rain-swept fields.
2006   Guardian (Nexis) 12 Oct. 11   Tony Blair arrived on the rainswept east coast of Scotland yesterday.

1849—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-varnished adj.

1867   J. R. Lowell in Atlantic Monthly July 99   The candle she held in the door, From rain-varnished tree-trunk to tree-trunk Flashed fainter.
1955   Times 21 Nov. 10/6   A chill breeze blew through the rain-varnished branches.
2005   N.Y. Times (Nexis) 22 May (Travel Desk section) 1   A man in his late 60s..leads us down Cingoli's rain-varnished cobbles.

1867—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain-washed adj.

1829   T. Flint George Mason ii. 17   The rain-washed precipices rendered the way almost impassable to their wagon.
1925   J. Dos Passos Manhattan Transfer iii. iv. 351   Drifts across the sky a dirigible,..gently prodding the rainwashed sky and the soft clouds.
2006   Express (Nexis) 4 Oct. 28   Strings of coloured bulbs blowing in the breeze and reflected in the rainwashed prom..shone like jewels in the night.

1829—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-weathered adj.

1940   J. Betjeman Old Lights for New Chancels 39   The rain-weathered streets of adjacent Rumsaa.
2006   Miami Herald (Nexis) 12 Mar. j12   Run your fingers along the ridges of rain-weathered cedar.

1940—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-wet adj.

1822   T. L. Beddoes Brides' Trag. ii. iii. 42   Though..every day be rain-wet in our eyes.
1928   E. Sitwell Five Poems 16   The airs like rain-wet shrinking petals curl.
2001   M. Lightstone Rogues & Vagabonds 291   There was much whirling and whipping about of long rain-wet hair in a manner everyone hoped was Dionysian.

1822—2001(Hide quotations)


  rain-worn adj.

1854   J. Lambert Let. 1 June in I. I. Stevens Rep. Explor. Route for Pacific Railroad (1860) XII. 162   The same character of sandy and clayey soil in the bottoms..is also seen in the rain-worn sections of the most elevated points.
1904   W. de la Mare Henry Brocken vi. 51   She trod with cautious foot and peering eye the green, rainworn paths.
2006   Washington Post (Nexis) 2 Dec. b1   Shreds of yellow police tape and several rain-worn teddy bear memorials..are within blocks of one another.

1854—2006(Hide quotations)

 c. Objective.

rain-aboding adj. Obsolete

1640   G. Abbot Whole Bk. Iob Paraphr. xxxvi. 229/1   A raine-aboding wind gives fore-knowledge of it.

1640—1640(Hide quotations)


  rain-bearer   n.

1863   Times 24 Dec. 6/5   In the very heart of the country is a great mountain group, which are [sic] the rain-bearers for fertilizing the country.
1925   R. DeCoursy Ward Climates of U.S. iv. 74   Rainfall is generally light, the summer cyclones being weak and ineffective as rainbearers.
2006   Richmond (Va.) Times Dispatch (Nexis) 26 Oct. b12   Clouds will begin to increase today ahead of our next rain-bearer.

1863—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-bearing adj.

1761   T. Arnold Bailey's Compl. Eng. Dict. (German ed.) II. 335/1   Regenwind, a Rain bearing Wind.
1845   C. Darwin Jrnl. (ed. 2) iii. 48   The rule,..of trees flourishing only in a climate rendered humid by rain-bearing winds, has a strongly marked exception in the case of the Falkland Islands.
1939   E. D. Laborde tr. E. de Martonne Shorter Physical Geogr. (rev. ed.) ii. 51   The monsoon wind which blows from the sea tends to lower the temperature; it is damp and rain-bearing.
2001   Austral. Gourmet Traveller Aug. 42/1   It sits in a rain shadow created by the Sierra de Cantabria and thus avoids the rain-bearing Atlantic winds.

1761—2001(Hide quotations)


  rain-bringing adj.

1845   C. Darwin Jrnl. (ed. 2) iii. 48   In the middle of the continent there is a broad intermediate band..where the rain-bringing winds have not to pass over lofty mountains.
1922   W. G. Kendrew Climates of Continents v. 25   These rain-bringing winds become predominant in summer.
2001   World Archaeol. 33 221   Such peaks were conceived as generators of weather, especially rain-bringing clouds.

1845—2001(Hide quotations)


  rain-dropping adj.

1632   W. Lithgow Totall Disc. Trav. x. 429   There Fabrickes are..of smoake-torne straw..and Raine-dropping watles.
1818   M. W. Shelley Frankenstein II. iii. 45   It was indeed a paradise, compared to the bleak forest, my former residence, the rain-dropping branches, and dank earth.
1889   T. C. Irwin Poems, Sketches & Songs 190   The bees are humming; ivies and grasses Gleam as the rain-dropping white cloud passes.
1999   Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) (Nexis) 18 Oct. d6   University of Miami coach Butch Davis is doing his best to identify the silver lining in the dark, rain-dropping clouds of Hurricane Irene.

1632—1999(Hide quotations)


  rain-giver   n.

1872   N. Amer. Rev. Oct. 329   It is the old corruption of the cloud-cow, the rain-giver, the fertilizer,—the earliest idea of Freia.
1922   W. G. Kendrew Climates of Continents xx. 110   The south-west monsoon is essentially the rain-giver of India.
1997   Jrnl. Mod. Afr. Stud. 35 675   The White Nile..provides a small but steady flow that is fed by the eternal snows of the Ruwenzori (the ‘rain giver’) mountains.

1872—1997(Hide quotations)


  rain-repellant adj.

1899   Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) 10 Oct. 5/1   The yarn is made rain repellant.
1968   Daily Tel. 4 Nov. 11/5   Best outfits..included a gleaming parchment kid coat, rain-repellant.
2004   Business & Commerc. Aviation (Nexis) Apr. 36   Glass windshields, coated with a rain-repellant film, are fitted to the XLS.

1899—2004(Hide quotations)


  rain-repelling adj.

1843   Edinb. Rev. Feb. 4   The rain-repelling powers of York cloth..are now almost invariably set forth in that humble and ordinary form of language.
1928   Portsmouth (Ohio) Daily Times 21 Nov. 5/1 (advt.)    Rain repelling coats of a good quality leatherette.
2006   Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Nexis) 14 Oct. 17   Gardeners can leave dahlia tubers in the ground all winter if they are planted in a raised bed or the area is covered with a tarp or a pile of rain-repelling fern fronds.

1843—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-resistant adj.

1934   Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 61 77   Nixon expedition in 1929 to Iraq for rain-resistant dates.
2006   Toledo (Ohio) Blade (Nexis) 19 Feb. i11   We also take along sturdy, waterproofed walking shoes, a reliably rain-resistant windbreaker, and two collapsible umbrellas.

1934—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-resisting adj.

1891   Manitoba Daily Free Press 7 Nov. 3/6 (advt.)    Storm and rain resisting rubber interlined cloth ulsters.
1952   A. W. Hunter Leighton's Compl. Bk. Dog (rev. ed.) viii. 126   The outer-coat [of the Alsatian] is also close,..so that it is rain-resisting.
1990   Record (Bergen County, New Jersey) (Nexis) 27 Dec. c4   The outer fabric was treated with a rain-resisting patented process.

1891—1990(Hide quotations)


  rain bag   n.  (a) a bag for collecting or storing rainwater;  (b) a bag designed to protect its contents from the rain.

a1661   W. Brereton Trav. (1844) 66   No water to wash withal but rain-water preserved in rain-bags.
1818   B. R. Haydon Let. 25 Mar. in J. Keats Lett. (1947) 119   You carried the rain with you as Ulysses did the Winds opening your rain bags you look round with a knowing wink, and say ‘curse this Devonshire how it rains!’
1964   Pacific Stars & Stripes 15 Aug.   Some 2,000 blankets, 7,200 pieces of clothing and 230 canvas and rain bags are among the supplies.
1993   A. M. Smith Shoshone Tales 170   Then he took out Sun's rain-bags (kidneys—where the water is). He said the rain-bags will be the moon.
2000   Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) (Nexis) 27 Mar. a2   The plastic rain bag that the paper came in is nothing but a big commercial for Doral cigarettes.

a1661—2000(Hide quotations)


  rain ball   n. originally English regional (Lancashire) a rounded mass of cloud (spec. in quot. 1942), esp. when considered as an indicator of rain; usually in plural.

1888   R. Abercromby Weather iii. 78   In Lancashire, the festoons [of cloud] are called ‘rainballs’, and are only considered a sign of rain.
1942   W. H. Wenstrom Weather & Ocean of Air viii. 182   One special cloud form worth mentioning is mammato-cumulus or ‘rain balls,’ whose cumulus heads bulge downward instead of upward from a high cloud deck.
1966   C. Olson Maximus Poems (1983) III. 569   These rain-balls Which could as well fall back into rain, play, In the air.

1888—1966(Hide quotations)


  rainband   n.  (a) Physics an absorption band in the solar spectrum caused by the presence of water vapour in the atmosphere, formerly taken as an indicator of rain;  (b) a band of rain moving across the country.

1877   Harper's Mag. Dec. 150/2   Professor Smyth notes at Edinburgh the occurrence of a severe rain..‘marked by a heavy rain band in the prismatic spectrum’.
1930   Times 30 Oct. 20/5   It was fine when the airship left Cardington, but a rain band caught her up near London.
1939   Meteorol. Gloss. (Meteorol. Office) (ed. 3) 156   Taken alone the rain-band is of doubtful value as a prognostic of rain.
1991   Harper's Mag. Sept. 52/2   The first rainband enveloped us, a deafening cataract that halted conversation as two inches of water came bucketing down.

1877—1991(Hide quotations)


  rain-bath   n. a soaking from the rain; a bath in the rain; (formerly also) †a shower bath (obsolete).

1810   R. Southey Let. 22 Dec. in New Lett. (1965) I. 547   I obtained..a thorough rain-bath on my return, for which I am no worse.
1896   T. C. Allbutt et al. Syst. Med. I. 340   Hip-baths, shower or rain-baths.
1926   Condor 28 5   Some birds, also, like to take a natural rain-bath.
2005   Advocate (Newark, Ohio) (Nexis) 23 Oct. 3 b   Some of the trail was on exposed rock making for some slippery steps. With the trail fresh off a rain bath, the hike had an added element of adventure.

1810—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain belt   n.  (a) an area having a high annual rainfall;  (b) = rainband n. (b).

1851   M. F. Maury Explan. & Sailing Direct. (ed. 3) 174   It may be supposed that a thermometer kept sliding on the surface of the earth so as always to be in the middle of this rain belt, would shew very nearly the same temperature all the year round.
1854   L. Gibbon Explor. Valley of Amazon II. x. 259   Along the beach large trees have been left as the rain-belt passed north.
1929   Proc. National Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 15 346   The fossil locality lies..near the present southern border of the tropical rain belt.
1969   A. G. Forsdyke Weather Guide 49   The rain belt ahead of a warm front is often 200 to 300 miles wide.
1996   High Country News 14 Oct. 3/1   The majority of the rejected permits were for..developments or golf courses located in the rain belt of the west side of the Cascades.
2006   Sunday Tel. (Nexis) 8 Oct. 32   At that time big areas were affected by a long sequence of rain belts that advanced slowly across the country from the Atlantic.

1851—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain bonnet   n. originally U.S. a hat designed to protect the wearer from rain; (now) esp. a lightweight, close-fitting plastic rain hat that may be folded away when not in use.

1909   Fort Wayne (Indiana) Jrnl.-Gaz. 1 Aug.   The rain bonnets will be covered by the new waterproof veils.
1968   Punch 19 June 892/3   Weinsoff can have his name on his key tag..hatband and sponge (and Mrs. Weinsoff on her pot holder, thimble and rain bonnet).
2003   Guardian (Nexis) 14 June (Guide Suppl.) 12   The sun blazed down and we all took our rain bonnets and waders off.

1909—2003(Hide quotations)


  rain boot   n. North American a boot designed to protect the wearer from rain and mud, (now) esp. a calf-length overshoe made of rubber or plastic.

1888   N.Y. Times 11 Nov. 3/3   Few road riders carry more than a whip, lap robe, rain boot, blanket, [etc.].
1951   Sun (Baltimore) 23 May (B ed.) 7/6 (advt.)    The only rainboot made of Norlon, the wonder plastic!.. Folds neatly and compactly in a fit-in-your-purse plastic pouch.
1992   C. Wilkins Wolf's Eye 134   She dressed for the garden attack in her bleach-stained, mauve jogging pants, a frayed white shirt, old winter gloves and rain boots.

1888—1992(Hide quotations)


  rain box   n. Theatre a device used to produce a sound effect of rain, typically consisting of dried peas, etc., in a resonant container.

1867   C. White Black Statue i. i. 11 (stage direct.)    Lightning, rain box, dark stage, confusion.
1902   Daily Herald (Delphos, Ohio) 16 May   ‘Stage rain’ is generally made by the dropping of split peas in a drum cylinder, and in this case there was a suspicion that the ‘rain box’ had not been cleaned.
2003   Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gaz. (Nexis) 20 Mar. c3   It's fun watching the old-fashioned special-effects equipment (thunder sheet, rain box, wind machine).

1867—2003(Hide quotations)


  rain bucket   n. a bucket used for collecting rainwater, esp. as a means of measuring rainfall.

1737   W. Oldys Brit. Librarian 177   Wren's Invention of the Rain-Bucket, to measure the Quantity that falls.
1878   Fitchburg (Mass.) Daily Sentinel 29 Apr.   Has some spirit kicked the rain bucket over, with a view to the crops of grass and clover?
1990   St. Petersburg (Florida) Times (Nexis) 18 May 1 d   He puts out rain buckets to catch water for plants.
2006   Lebanon (Pa.) Daily News (Nexis) 3 Mar.   The station will collect data with several meteorological devices: a three-cup anemometer.., a thermometer, a barometer and a rain bucket.

1737—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain cap   n.  (a) a cap designed to protect the wearer from rain;  (b) a cover placed on a chimney or other vent to keep out the rain.

1827   T. Carlyle tr. J. A. Musæus in German Romance I. 25   She drew a rain-cap over her face.
1908   Amer. Anthropologist 10 160/1   Treats of..clothing and ornaments (combs;..armlets, belts, hip-girdles; rain caps and cloaks).
1946   Zanesville (Ohio) Signal 1 Feb. 8/7   Brooder stove pipe end and rain caps.
1999   Essent. Gas Safety May 180/1   Terracotta chimney inserts (rain caps) are not suitable for use with gas appliances.
2002   Sun (Nexis) 29 Mar.   [He] donned a tartan skirt, duffel coat, tights and plastic rain cap.

1827—2002(Hide quotations)


  raincape   n. a cape designed to protect the wearer from rain.

1875   Amer. Cycl. XII. 480/2   They make blankets of cypress bark, raincapes of white pine bark,..and wooden dishes.
1921   Daily Colonist (Victoria, Brit. Columbia) 1 Oct. 3/5 (advt.)    Children's good quality tan colored raincapes to fit girls 4 to 12 years; made with lined hood.
1990   J. M. Coetzee Age of Iron iii. 96   Under the eye of a boy in an olive rain-cape I got out of the car.

1875—1990(Hide quotations)


  raincaped adj. wearing a raincape.

1922   J. Joyce Ulysses ii. xiv. [Oxen of the Sun] 393   They hear the heavy tread of the watch as two raincaped shadows pass the new royal university.
2000   Mail on Sunday (Nexis) 31 Dec. 72   We slowly discover why Price..is so keen to track down Dunn, who is by now emerging as rather more than just a rain-caped security guard.

1922—2000(Hide quotations)


  rain chamber   n.  (a) Metallurgy a compartment in which noxious fumes are dissolved by the action of a spray of water (obsolete rare);  (b) a chamber in which natural rainfall can be simulated, chiefly for purposes of research.

1870   C. L. Bloxam Metals 185   A rain chamber is often provided, in which the condensation of the fume is assisted by water.
1940   Bot. Gaz. 101 870   A total of 677 large and small fruits were placed in a rain chamber for 51 hours.
1987   New Phytologist 106 439   Plants were exposed to simulated rainfalls in an enclosed rain chamber in the greenhouse.

1870—1987(Hide quotations)


  rain-charm   n. an object, action, or incantation used in rain-making rituals.

1890   J. G. Frazer Golden Bough I. iii. 403   A custom of throwing the body of the victim, or at least a portion of it, into the Nile as a rain-charm.
1923   D. A. Mackenzie Myths China & Japan x. 145   A Vedic frog-hymn was chanted by Aryo-Indian priests as a rain-charm when Indra's services were requisitioned.
2006   Daily Tel. (Nexis) 10 May 30   A wooden door filled with beads gets spun around like a giant rain-charm, imitating the roar of sea surf.

1890—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain chart   n. chiefly North American = rain map n.

1849   Blackwood's Edinb. Mag. 65 414   The Hyetographic or rain chart of this volume gives a most complete and minute detail of a most important subject.
1946   Agric. Hist. 20 223/1   The rain chart was constructed in 1868... The color used is well chosen..and the data exhibited are not so numerous as to obscure the basic patterns of rainfall distribution.
1961   Mountain Democrat (Placerville, Calif.) 26 Jan. 1/5   This chart..is the oldest rain chart known to be in existence in the county and is valued highly by many who look forward each year to its reprinting.

1849—1961(Hide quotations)


  rain cloak   n.  [in quot. 1708   perhaps after Dutch regenmantel (mid 16th cent.); compare also Middle Low German (rare) rēgenmantel, German Regenmantel (17th cent.)] a cloak designed to protect the wearer from rain.

1708   W. Sewel Large Dict. Eng. & Dutch ii. 406/1   Regenmantel, a Rain-cloak.
1863   R. Fortune Visits Japan & China iv. 64   As the day was wet they had loose rain-cloaks over their dresses.
1922   J. Joyce Ulysses ii. iv. [Calypso] 66   Hallstand too full. Four umbrellas, her raincloak.
1993   New Scientist 18 Sept. 5/3   Ötzi's grass rain-cloak was similar to those used by shepherds in the region until modern times.

1708—1993(Hide quotations)


  rain clothes   n. clothing designed to protect the wearer from rain.

1861   Harper's Mag. Feb. 411/1   A snug receptacle for their conical hats, oiled-paper rain-clothes, swords, and other light articles.
1977   New Yorker 10 Oct. 141/1   When you drop into their big shops, they're selling their members new golf bags, new golf balls, new clubs,..new rain clothes—you name it.
2005   Vancouver (Brit. Columbia) Province (Nexis) 6 Sept. c47   You might want to bring rain clothes if you think it's going to rain.

1861—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain crow   n. any of several New World cuckoos; esp.  (a) U.S. the yellow-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus, and the black-billed cuckoo, C. erythrophthalmus;  (b) Caribbean the mangrove cuckoo, Coccyzus minor, and the great lizard cuckoo, Saurothera merlini (cf. rainbird n. 2).

1806   M. Lewis Jrnl. 16 July in Jrnls. Lewis & Clark Exped. (1993) VIII. 112   I saw both yesterday and today the Cookkoo or as it is sometimes called the rain craw.
1872   E. Coues Key to N. Amer. Birds 190   American cuckoos..are..noted for their loud jerky cries, which they are supposed to utter most frequently in falling weather, whence their popular name, ‘rain crow’.
1960   J. Bond Birds W. Indies (ed. 3) 115   Mangrove Cuckoo Coccygus minor. Local names: Rain Bird; Rain Crow; [etc.].
1983   J. Wilcox Mod. Baptists xxv. 178   Burma just stood there..frowning at..the Audubon print of a rain crow.

1806—1983(Hide quotations)


  rain cuckoo   n. now rare any of several New World cuckoos; esp. (formerly) †the chestnut-bellied cuckoo, Hyetornis pluvialis, of Jamaica (obsolete); cf. rainbird n. 2.

1782   J. Latham Gen. Synopsis Birds I. ii. 535   Long-billed Rain Cuckow.
?a1808   Universal Syst. Nat. Hist. IV. 490   The Rain Cuckoo... It is also called the rain bird because it never calls except before rain.
1815   J. F. Stephens Shaw's Gen. Zool. IX. i. 124 (heading)    Rain cuckow. (Cuculus pluvialis).
1971   Daily Tribune (Wisconsin Rapids) 22 June 3/1   The American rain cuckoo is often called the ‘rain prophet’.

1782—1971(Hide quotations)


  rain dance   n. (esp. among North American Indians) a ritual dance performed in order to encourage the onset of rain.

1870   J. W. De Forest in Galaxy Nov. 645   She was quite amazed when she learned that this was not a wedding, but a rain-dance.
1930   J. M. Buttree Rhythm of Redman 89   It is the privilege of all to improvise the new song for each rain dance.
2000   Canad. Geographic Jan. 75/1   In 1892, Cree leader Piapot held a rain dance at a site 400 kilometres southwest of present-day Regina.

1870—2000(Hide quotations)


  rain date   n. North American an alternative date to which an outdoor activity or event will be moved if postponed because of rain.

1905   Chicago Tribune 12 July 8/3   There will have to be three double headers between the Sox and Champions to dispose of the rain dates already on the south side slate.
1908   Fort Wayne (Indiana) Jrnl.-Gaz. 12 Apr. 29/4   May 10, ten-mile handicap road race..(rain date, May 17).
1996   Eastern Graphic (Montague, Prince Edward Island) 21 Aug. 17/1 (advt.)    2 family yard sale, Saturday, August 24, 9:00–12:00... Raindate, Sunday, 25 August.

1905—1996(Hide quotations)


  rain day   n. Meteorology (in the United Kingdom) a 24-hour period commencing at 9.00 a.m. GMT on which there is at least 0·01 inch or 0·2 mm of recorded rainfall.

1901   Times 7 Oct. 8/6   The number of ‘rain days’ was..rather larger in Ireland, and very small in the eastern and south-eastern parts of England.
1922   Notes & Queries 8 July 38/2   Absolute Drought is a period of more than fourteen consecutive days (i.e., fifteen or more), no one of which is a rain day.
1991   New Scientist 23 Nov. 47/1   Rainfall data from the 15,000 stations includes the number of ‘raindays’ and the total rain for each month, each year.

1901—1991(Hide quotations)


  rain delay   n. a period during which an activity, esp. a sporting event, is postponed or suspended because of rain.

1899   Times 21 June 13/3   Between the rain delays at Bristol yesterday Lancashire managed to secure a winning position.
1932   San Mateo (Calif.) Times 22 Nov. 9/3 (headline)    Rain delay proves costly to state.
2003   Toronto Metro 3 Sept. 12 (caption)    Court workers squeegee the court in Arthur Ashe Stadium during a rain delay.

1899—2003(Hide quotations)


  rain doctor   n. = rainmaker n. 1a.

1846   C. Tomlinson Rain Cloud viii. 212   Should rain happen to fall, the credit is given to the rain-doctor.
1948   H. Webster Magic xi. 314   She never works alone but always has a rain doctor at hand to discover by divination the causes of a drought.
1996   Sunday Times (Nexis) 30 June   The queen is the chief actor in the rain cult, but she does not work alone. Rain doctors are appointed to assist her with the secret rituals and ceremonies.

1846—1996(Hide quotations)


  rain dog   n. originally Nautical a small part of a rainbow, the rest being invisible; cf. dog n.1 9.

1866   ‘M. Twain’ in Sacramento Union 24 Aug. 3/2   What the sailors call ‘rain dogs’—little patches of rainbow—are often seen drifting about the heavens in these latitudes.
1910   H. de V. Stacpoole Blue Lagoon III. xvi. 122   The rainy season here was quite a lively time. Torrential showers followed by bursts of sunshine, rainbows, and rain-dogs in the sky.
1997   Guardian 18 June i. 16/6   On a morning in mid-June, rain-dogs drift across steep woods.

1866—1997(Hide quotations)


  rain door   n.  [after Japanese amadoamado n.] = amado n.

1867   J. C. Hepburn Japanese & Eng. Dict. 8/2   Amado,..rain-door, the outside sliding doors.
1958   R. P. Dore City Life in Japan iv. 49   At night the outer ‘rain-doors’ of solid wood which slide outside the windows of paper or glass are pulled along and fixed tight in order to prevent burglary as well as, in winter, the loss of heat.
1999   Ottawa Citizen (Nexis) 9 May a10   One servant's full-time job would be to tend to the wooden rain doors along the corridors running beside the garden.

1867—1999(Hide quotations)


  rain dust   n. particulate matter falling from the air like or in rain; (also) a mist or mizzling rain.

1851   M. F. Maury Explan. & Sailing Direct. 154   The ‘rain-dust’ has been observed most frequently to fall in spring and autumn.
1912   J. Galsworthy Inn of Tranquility 48   The mist had thickened to a white, infinitesimal rain-dust.
2001   Jrnl. Environm. Radioactivity 55 109 (abstract)    Cesium-137 still remained 14 years after the Chernobyl accident, reaching 26.6 Bq kg−1 in the coloured rain dust.

1851—2001(Hide quotations)


  rain frog   n. any of various frogs that call when it is raining; esp.  (a) U.S. and Caribbean a small tree frog of the genus Hyla (family Hylidae), esp. the common H. squirella;  (b) any of various large Old World burrowing frogs of the families Brevicipitidae and Microhylidae, esp. of the African genus Breviceps.

1827   T. L. McKenney Sketches Tour to Lakes 158   We found the few people who live near its mouth..[with] rain frogs on the logs of their huts to sing them to repose.
1929   W. Rose Veld & Vlei 47   His other common name is ‘Reen Padda’ or ‘Rain Frog’, which probably indicates a propensity to emerge from concealment at the advent of rain.
1979   N. I. Passmore & V. C. Carruthers S. Afr. Frogs 82   Rain Frogs. Breviceps... Eleven species occur in South Africa.
2002   G. M. Eberhart Mysterious Creatures II. 645/2   Phantom frog , Eleutherodactylus phasma. Rain frog discovered in the Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica.

1827—2002(Hide quotations)


  rain garden   n. an area of garden that lies below the level of its surroundings, designed to absorb rainwater that runs off from an impervious surface such as a patio, roof, or pavement.Rain gardens are created primarily in order to prevent occasional flooding by heavy rainfall, and to reduce the amount of pollution reaching drains.

1994   Nonpoint Source News-notes No. 37 5   Rain Gardens are an alternative stormwater management practice being applied as a pilot project at Somerset.
2011   Guardian 10 Sept. (Weekend Suppl.) 68/1   Rain gardens soak up water like a sponge, letting it seep gently into the ground and reducing the risk of flooding.

1994—2011(Hide quotations)


  rain gauge   n. an apparatus for collecting and measuring, and sometimes automatically recording, the amount of rain which falls.

1770   Philos. Trans. 1769 (Royal Soc.) 59 359   The rain-gage..was fixed so high, as to rise above all the neighbouring chimnies.
1860   M. F. Maury Physical Geogr. Sea (ed. 8) v. 105   Rivers are the rain-gauges of nature.
1925   C. Wells Six Years in Malay Jungle xiii. 197   Before I left Alor Star, the State Engineer instructed me to carry about a rain gauge.
1995   Garden (Royal Hort. Soc.) Nov. p. civ/2 (advt.)    Ideal Christmas gifts—all available by post. Raingauges..frost predictors..and many more.

1770—1995(Hide quotations)


  rain gear n. outer clothing or footwear designed to protect the wearer from the rain.

1918   Blackwood's Mag. Feb. 271/1   The captain hurriedly slipped on his gum-boots and rain gear and went up on to the bridge.
1939   East St. Louis (Illinois) Jrnl. 14 June 8/2   The child who is given a pretty pair of galoshes or boots will not have to be coaxed to put on his rain-gear to tramp around out of doors.
2004   T. C. Boyle Inner Circle i. vii. 125   We just finished our coffee, shrugged into our rain gear and climbed back into the car.

1918—2004(Hide quotations)


  rain-gem   n. poetic (now rare) a raindrop.

1831   New Eng. Mag. Aug. 104   Hear the rustling of thy wings Among the leaves, where rain-gems glitter still.
1931   E. Blunden To Themis 27   The impulses of April, the rain-gems, the rose-cloud.
1945   Southtown Economist (Chicago) 13 June 4/2   A creature of the sunlight, With rain-gems on its wings.

1831—1945(Hide quotations)


  rain glass   n.  (a) a barometer; also figurative; cf. glass n.1 12a;  (b) chiefly North American a type of glass having a decorative texture which resembles falling rain.

1862   Athenæum 26 July 121/2   The following may be depended upon as a rain-glass:... Get a common pickle-bottle,..fill it with any kind of water, to within two or three inches of the top; plunge the neck of an empty Florence oil-flask into the pickle-bottle.
1909   Geogr. Jrnl. 33 306   Enthusiasts..who have gradually acquired a belief..that nobody but themselves can read a rain-glass.
1974   Times (San Mateo, Calif.) 21 Dec. 26/8 (advt.)    Goblets..fine ivory china..rain glass plates.
2003   Southern Living Aug. 114   Separating the tub deck and shower, a single sheet of rain glass allows sunlight to enter.
2005   BBC Monitoring Internat. Rep. (Nexis) 18 May   The petitions submitted to public security organs are a ‘rain glass’ that indicate China's social stability.

1862—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain god   n. a god associated with bringing rain.

1838   U.S. Mag. & Democratic Rev. Apr. 21   The rain-god, sweeping through the sky, To fill their vessels with his precious dew.
1905   E. Clodd Animism §11. 58   Indra, the old Vedic weather-god, has been completely elbowed out as an object of worship by special rain-gods.
2002   M. Kurlansky Salt (2003) xii. 202   The Aztecs observed ceremonies for Vixtociatl, who was banished to the saltwaters by her brothers the rain gods.

1838—2002(Hide quotations)


  rain-goddess   n. a goddess associated with bringing rain.

1854   Littell's Living Age 14 Jan. 111/2 (title)    The wind-spirit and the rain-goddess.
1904   Edinb. Rev. Jan. 38   The Indian women disraimented still enact the ancient ritual of the Rain-Goddess or Earth-Mother.
2006   Daily Tel. (Nexis) 16 Sept. 26   The heroine of this novel..is a pipe-smoking pilot who teaches an African tribe to knit and makes date loaves for a rain-goddess.

1854—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain goose   n. (also rein goose) Scottish (chiefly Orkney and Shetland) the red-throated diver, Gavia stellata, whose call is believed to herald rain.

1703   M. Martin Descr. W. Islands Scotl. 72   The Rain-goose bigger than a Duck, makes a doleful Noise before a great Rain.
1793   J. Sinclair Statist. Acct. Scotl. VII. 573   The birds are, eagles, marrots or auks, kingfishers, rain geese, muir fowls.
1882   Standard 22 Aug. 2/5   Rein geese and brent geese were seen.
1959   Scots Mag. Aug. 360   The red-throated diver—the ‘rain goose’, as it is familiarly known in the Hebrides and the Shetlands, though the bird is not a goose.

1703—1959(Hide quotations)


  rain gun   n.  (a) a gun used to shoot a substance into clouds, with the intention of inducing rain (rare);  (b) an apparatus which shoots a high-pressure spray of water, used primarily for irrigation.

1892   Galveston (Texas) Daily News 26 Nov. 3/4   Opened their rain guns... General R. T. Dyrenforth and his party of rainmakers began their first series of experiments at producing rain by concussion.
1941   Zanesville (Ohio) Signal 9 Aug. 3/5   Student invents rain gun... The new machine can send..water 180 feet.
2001   Furrow Mar. 37/3   Low-pressure sprinklers, mobile trickle-irrigation equipment, and drip-line irrigation pipes are now replacing rain guns.

1892—2001(Hide quotations)


  rain hat   n. a hat designed to protect the wearer from the rain.

1755   A. Berthelson tr. E. Pontoppidan Nat. Hist. Norway i. i. 26   The men secure themselves from the rain by rain-hats, made like umbrellas.
1894   Jrnl. Anthropol. Inst. 23 91   Oil-paper is used for making the conical rain hats which are fastened on to the ordinary black hat in wet weather.
1946   Cosmopolitan Oct. 96/1   She has large pockets for her small treasures, flange yoke accented with buttons, sash and a matching rain hat.
2006   Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Nexis) 1 Dec. b7   Who's a Seattle optimist? The guy with a sun-visor on his rain-hat.

1755—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain hood   n.  [originally after German Regenhut (17th cent.), lit. ‘rain hat’] a waterproof hood, (now) esp. a light plastic one which may be folded away when not in use.

1761   T. Arnold Bailey's Compl. Eng. Dict. (German ed.) II. 335/1   Regenhut, a Rain-Hood.
1897   Dict. National Biogr. XLIX. 184/2   Having borrowed..his father's rain-hood he took up his abode in a wood near his father's house.
1959   Times 2 Oct. 14/6   Her..macintosh, rain hood, and over-boots testified to a careful preparation for the realities of the English climate.
2006   Sentinel (Stoke-on-Trent) (Nexis) 1 Mar. 5   I opened my umbrella and a million pieces of confetti fell out and stuck to a passing OAP wearing a rain hood and plastic mac.

1761—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain jacket   n. a jacket, esp. a padded sports jacket, designed to protect the wearer from rain.

1923   Indianapolis Star 14 June 12/6   Golfer's rain jacket.
1999   C. Hulme Manslaughter United xxv. 239   Teddy stood erect in a green lightweight rain jacket and blue tracksuit bottoms, gripping the line-flag in his hand.

1923—1999(Hide quotations)


  rain jungle   n. = rainforest n.

1945   Science 23 Feb. 195/1   The new station..is situated at an altitude of 3,000 feet, in the middle of a national forest comprising 300 square miles of conserved and undisturbed rain jungle.
2005   Ottawa Citizen (Nexis) 23 Nov. a3   Colum Stapleton was initiated into Santo Diame and imbibed the religion's sacred tea, concocted by boiling a vine and leaf native to the Amazon rain jungles.

1945—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain king   n. (also with capital initials) (esp. in some African countries) a king believed to have the power to bring rain; (also) the rain personified as a king.

1840   C. Mathews Politicians ii. i. 33   The Rain-King, only last week, caught a storm on a lightning rod, and held it there two days, notwithstanding the entreaties of the neighbouring county, that was suffering sorely under a drouth.
1880   W. Black White Wings xx   There is a deeper gloom overhead; the rain-king is upon us.
1933   New Castle (Pa.) News 26 June 14/5   For some reason we weren't in the path of the rain king Sunday, save for a bit of a sprinkle.
2006   Africa News (Nexis) 20 Oct.   The son of a Rain King in southern Angola, Healo Shityuwete was educated in mission schools in Namibia.

1840—2006(Hide quotations)


  rainland   n. (esp. in sub-Saharan Africa) an area of relatively high rainfall.

1880   W. E. Purser & H. C. Fanshawe Rep. Land Revenue Rohtak District i. 9   In the few rain-land gardens which exist, the jáman and ber trees are found in profusion.
1903   Jrnl. Afr. Soc. 2 126   This tribe is Sedentary and famous for its crops of dhurra which are more carefully cultivated on the rain lands than anywhere else in the Sudan.
2004   D. N. Edwards Nubian Past i. 3   Some regions where the resources of river and rainland savannahs came together, were to become the focus of a long series of early states, the earliest in sub-Saharan Africa.

1880—2004(Hide quotations)


  rain lily   n. chiefly U.S. a zephyr lily or zephyranth (genus Zephyranthes).

1877   Harper's Mag. Nov. 842/2   The delicate little white rain-lilies that spring after a shower scatter their delicious odor.
1966   Tucson (Arizona) Daily Citizen 30 July 42/1 (advt.)    Rain lily bulbs. Blooms all summer. 5¢.
2007   Jrnl. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 1 696   Species noteworthy for their showiness include..two species of rain lily (Zephyranthes pulchella, Z. traubii).

1877—2007(Hide quotations)


  rain mac   n. British a raincoat; = mac n.3

1966   J. Orton Diary 23 Dec. (1986) 38   The sleeve of my rainmac is covered in whitewash from the wall.
1998   Touch Aug. 102/1   Let's just hope that the summer sorts itself out—there's nothing worse than getting down in a rain mac and wellies.

1966—1998(Hide quotations)


rain machine   n. Obsolete rare = rain gauge n.

1768   Philos. Trans. 1767 (Royal Soc.) 57 446   One of the Thermometers is kept..without Doors in the Rain Machine.

1768—1768(Hide quotations)


  rain map   n.  [compare German Regenkarte (1845 or earlier)] Meteorology a map showing the distribution of rainfall over an area.

1848   A. K. Johnston Physical Atlas a3 (heading)    Hyetographic or rain map of the World.
1962   T. W. Freeman Hundred Years of Geogr. x. 237   There is a hyetographic or rain map of Europe, showing the number of rainy days (more than 0.01 inch), the isohyetoses, or lines with equal amounts of rain.
1994   Remote Sensing Rev. 11 125   A technique is described for using rain rates inferred from..satellite observations to produce monthly total rain maps for the region 40°N to 40°S.

1848—1994(Hide quotations)


  rain mark   n. Geology (now rare) = rain print n.

1851   C. Lyell in Q. Jrnl. Geol. Soc. 7 239   I received from Mr. Richard Brown some fine specimens of rain-marks from the greenish shales of the coal-measures of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
1873   Jrnl. Amer. Geogr. Soc. 4 383   The sandstones prevail for some distance down; and among the fragments rain-marks..were abundant.
1911   Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 50 637   The erect stumps are associated with rain marks and footprints, clear evidence of sub-aerial position.

1851—1911(Hide quotations)


  rain-pearl   n. poetic (now rare) a raindrop (cf. rain-gem n.).

1865   Ladies' Repository Nov. 690/2   In the wide-spread, cloudy canopy the rain-pearls sparkle in the rays of the sun.
1879   O. Wilde in Time Apr. 30   Brush the rain-pearls from the eucharis.
1926   M. Leinster Dew on Leaf ii. iv. 191   Eastern music..was to him..as soft as whispered words of love, delicate as tumbling rain-pearls.

1865—1926(Hide quotations)


  rain pit   n. Geology = rain print n.

1841   Penny Cycl. XIX. 270/2   Foot-prints, rain-pits, and hollows of every kind.
1963   M. Schwarzbach Climates of Past 64   Rain pits, being indicators of isolated showers are to be expected more in arid climates than in humid.
1991   Geogr. Jrnl. 157 324/1   There is possible evidence of present-day solution in the form of rain pits and karren on the sides of the pinnacles.

1841—1991(Hide quotations)


  rain-pitting   n. Geology rain prints; (also) the occurrence of such marks.

1871   A. C. Ramsay in Q. Jrnl. Geol. Soc. 27 250   The presence of sun-cracks and rain-pittings in the Longmynd beds.
1894   Geol. Mag. Oct. 452   Slab..showing rain-pittings.
1928   Geogr. Jrnl. 72 135   They [sc. sandstones] show false bedding, ripple-marking, sun-cracking and rain-pitting of interbedded muds.

1871—1928(Hide quotations)


rain-plover   n. Obsolete rare the golden plover, Pluvialis apricaria.

1817   E. Forster Catalogus Avium in Insulis Britannicis 33   Charadrius pluvialis. Golden Plover, Yellow Plover, or Rain Plover.

1817—1817(Hide quotations)


  rain print   n. Geology a small crater-like indentation found in certain types of rock which has the appearance of having been formed by the landing of a raindrop.

1851   C. Lyell in Q. Jrnl. Geol. Soc. 7 238   We observed some very distinct rain-prints on ripple-marked shales.
1920   F. W. Emerson Agric. Geol. 1   By these fossil rain prints and stream marks we know that this rock was accumulated near an ancient beach.
1997   Sedimentary Geol. 112 45/2   The mudstones have undergone intensive pedogenic modification, and some beds contain rain prints and reptile trackways.

1851—1997(Hide quotations)


  rain procession   n. a ceremonial procession associated with rituals for the provision of rain.

1885   A. J. Evans in Archaeologia 49 106   The Roman rain-procession, as described by Petronius.
1947   Jewish Q. Rev. 37 273   The seven names seem to be..for the special purpose of the rain-procession.
1999   Brit. Jrnl. Ethnomusicol. 8 38   Summer floods could be catastrophic [in China], but more common was drought, necessitating rain processions, in which ritual associations participated.

1885—1999(Hide quotations)


  rain quail   n. a small, black-breasted South Asian quail, Coturnix coromandelica (family Phasianidae), which is locally migratory during the monsoon season.

1839   Madras Jrnl. Lit. & Sci. 10 6   C. Textilis... Black breasted Quail.—Rain quail of some. This pretty little species is very common in most of the well cultivated districts of India.
1909   Times 9 July 22/6   Hybrids have been produced between the rain quail (Coturnix coromandelica) and the pectoral quail (C. pectoralis).
1984   Annales d'Endocrinol. 45 403   The photoperiodic response of the sexually dimorphic rain quail was studied.

1839—1984(Hide quotations)


  Rain Queen   n. (also with lower-case initials)  [compare Afrikaans reënkoningin (1947 or earlier), and perhaps also Lobedu Khishadula-maru-a-Daja, lit. ‘transformer of the clouds’, one of the titles of the 19th cent. Lobedu queen Modjadji (compare Modjadji n.)] South African the hereditary queen of the Lobedu people of Limpopo province (formerly the northern Transvaal) of South Africa, believed to have special powers including the ability to bring rain; cf. Modjadji n. 1.

1933   J. Juta Look out for Ostriches 97   The dark mysterious Rain Queen... Mujaji is her name, and she is probably the last of the direct line of Rain Queens.
1959   L. G. Green These Wonders to Behold 33   For centuries the rain queen was expected, in her old age, to pass on her secrets.., and then to commit ritual suicide by taking poison.
2005   Daily Tel. (Nexis) 21 June 11   Tragedy followed South Africa's Rain Queen to her early grave yesterday as the young woman said to have power over the elements and the flow of rivers was buried.

1933—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain scald   n. Veterinary Medicine dermatitis affecting esp. the back and quarters of horses caused by the actinomycete Dermatophilus congolensis, typically occurring during persistently damp weather and characterized by the presence of scabs and matted tufts of hair; cf. mud fever n. 1.

1961   Vet. Rec. 19 Aug. 795/2   Dermatitis of the horse caused by Dermatophilus sp... The acute form is dramatic and..produces lesions..familiar to many veterinary surgeons as ‘rain scald’.
1988   Riding June 27/4   A..winter problem you may encounter is a..reaction to rain and cold..on the horse's back and quarters..commonly known as rain scald.
2006   Racing Post (Nexis) 2 June 20   He was in a dreadful state. He was pretty much skin and bones, covered in rain scald and very poor indeed with mud fever, swollen legs, the whole lot.

1961—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain shadow   n. Meteorology and Geography an area in the lee of a mountain or mountain range which has low rainfall because the wind that arrives has already deposited most of its moisture on the windward side as it rises and cools; the relative lack of rain in the lee of a mountain.

1896   Science 15 May 732/2   A pronounced ‘rain shadow’ and chonook belt occur on the plateau district in the lee of these mountains.
1922   W. G. Kendren Climates of Continents 58   The strip of low land along the east shore of the lake..is a well-marked rain-shadow.
2005   Whisky Mag. Oct. 49/2   The west of Scotland is the wettest region, with some of the east of the country effectively lying in a rain shadow.

1896—2005(Hide quotations)


  rain shadowing   n. Meteorology and Geography the production of a rain shadow.

1936   Geogr. Jrnl. 87 11   Valley routes have certain advantages as well as disadvantages for air travel. Among their advantages I would put..the finer weather, owing to local rain-shadowing.
2006   Basic & Appl. Ecol. 7 254/1   The Taklamakan desert..is characterised by..extremely arid conditions in all seasons. This is due to its continental location and its additional rain shadowing by the alpine Tian and Kunlun mountains.

1936—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain slicker   n. North American = slicker n. 2.

1910   N.Y. Times 5 Nov. 1/3   [They] were in civilian's clothes topped by yellow rain slickers closely buttoned about the neck.
1997   Fiddlehead Summer 230   The little alcove where the children hang their rain-slickers and hooded jackets.

1910—1997(Hide quotations)


  rain spell   n. a period of rain, a rainy spell; (Meteorology) one consisting of fifteen or more consecutive rain days.

1869   Galveston (Texas) Daily News 22 July   A considerable gale visited the premises of our friend..one night last week, during the rain spell.
1906   Brit. Rainfall 1905 124   We..consider..rain spells for which no more simple and expressive name has yet been found.
1924   Times 2 Jan. 11/5   The only rain spell (period of over 15 ‘rain’ days) occurred from February 12 to March 2, when over .01 inch was recorded for 19 consecutive days.
1939   Meteorol. Gloss. (Meteorol. Office) (ed. 3) 161   During the 62 years, 1858–1919, there were seven rain spells at Camden Square (London).
2007   Building & Environment 42 2157/1   It can evaporate during the rain but especially during the dry period after the end of a rain spell.

1869—2007(Hide quotations)


  rain spot   n.  (a) Geology = rain print n.;  (b) a raindrop; a wet mark made by a fallen raindrop.

1845   J. Phillips & C. G. B. Daubeny Geol. in Encycl. Metrop. VI. 566/1   We see the coarse rocks of Borrowdale and Patterdale..change to..the pale grey rocks around Grasmere, or the ‘rain spot’ slate of White Moss.
1878   T. Hardy in New Q. Mag. July 328   He watched the rain spots thickening upon the faded frocks..and coarse pinafores of his unprotected little flock.
1895   C. E. Cowle Let. 18 Feb. in J. Mulvaney et al. From Frontier (2000) ii. 60   Daer was in at Alice Spgs and I was an orphan and kept busy dodging rain spots all night (it never ceased for four days and nights).
1944   in Mrs. Milburn's Diaries (1979) 5 Nov. 248   The rain had soaked the curtain and..rain spots showed on the carpet.
1958   A. Sillitoe Loneliness Long Distance Runner 38   Three green-backs..had been washed down by the water, and more were following, lying flat at first after their fall, then getting tilted at the corners by wind and rainspots.
2002   Jrnl. Struct. Geol. 24 1261/1   There is evidence of emergence (rain spots) and proximal plant life.

1845—2002(Hide quotations)


  rainspout   n. = spout n. 1a.

1720   E. Lloyd tr. J. Chardin Trav. Persia II. xvii. 287   Their Care..is to keep always the Rain-Spouts clear, at the bottom.
1820   L. Hunt Indicator 21 June 289   You find..the rain-spout pouring away.
1922   J. Joyce Ulysses ii. xv. [Circe] 453   Boys from High school are perched on the..rainspouts, whistling and cheering.
2002   Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller-Times (Nexis) 29 Oct. b4   The gray and white kitten had slipped from a concrete wall near Dobbins Hall and fell into a PVC-pipe rainspout.

1720—2002(Hide quotations)


  rain stick   n.  (a) colloquial (originally U.S.) an umbrella;  (b) a stick used in rain-making rituals;  (c) a rattle consisting of a sealed cylinder lined with thin pins and filled with small objects such as seeds or pebbles, which makes a sound similar to that of falling rain when inverted.

1894   Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Evening Gaz. 9 Nov. 5/2   The editor's umbrella... For about two weeks a very desirable rain-stick had leaned against the desk.
1897   W. E. Roth Ethnol. Stud. N.-W.-Central Queensland Aborigines xii. 167   The singing over, the central figure dives out of sight, and attaches the rain-stick into the hollow log.
1984   Chicago Tribune 4 May vii. 8/1   Drums Ltd...stocks more than 1,000 different percussion instruments—everything from tam tam gongs..to Klaxon horns and Brazilian rain sticks.
1990   New Age Jrnl. June 84/3 (advt.)    Zapotec tapetes, ceremonial rainsticks,..and masks.
1992   Herald (Glasgow) (Nexis) 30 Apr. 12   Every weapon against brollies has been tried... When they first appeared in London, rain sticks were considered effete and foreign affectations.
2006   Mod. Drummer Nov. 126/1   [He] plays a traditional acoustic drumkit for Tarzan, augmented by..a djembe, a couple of shakers, a tambourine, and a rain-stick.

1894—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain-stone   n.  (a) a hail stone (usually in plural) (rare);  (b) a stone used in rain-making rituals.

1845   Jrnl. Royal Geogr. Soc. 15 199   This mountain is very high, and hail storms (rain-stones, as Nasib expressed it) are frequent on it.
1872   H. Rawlinson in Edinb. Rev. Jan. 27   There has been a general belief throughout Central Asia at all times in the efficacy of the Yedeh, or ‘rain-stone’, to control the weather.
1929   Coshocton (Ohio) Tribune 26 Apr. 12/2   A hail storm hit the Ohio valley... The rain stones shattered windows and damaged fruit crops.
1932   Times Lit. Suppl. 1 Dec. 915/2   Such rain-stones may be of quartz, of which the transparency is suggestive of water.
2000   Z. Sardar Consumption Kuala Lumpur 176   There were traditional means of summoning rain to dowse the fires. In fact, my friend was all for getting her mother to send the family's powerful rainstone over.

1845—2000(Hide quotations)


  rain suit   n. a set of waterproof outer clothing, typically consisting of a pair of overtrousers and a hooded jacket.

1900   Uhrichsville (Ohio) News-Democrat 20 Dec. (advt.)    Smoking jackets, house coats, mackintoshes, rain suits.
1950   L. Thomas Out of this World ii. 23   Our clothing on the trail would be warm ski pants, ski boots, woolen shirts, sweaters, windbreakers, ski caps, and rubberized rain suits.
2001   Canoe & Kayak Mar. 93/1   If you're on a tight budget, those inexpensive lightweight nylon rain suits..are hard to beat.

1900—2001(Hide quotations)


  rain temple   n. a temple in which rain-making rituals are performed.

1893   J. C. Clark Royal Photogr. Gallery 114 (caption)    Rain Temple at Tsin-Tien, China... It is dedicated to the service of rain begetting.
1894   Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) 16 Jan. 4/5 (advt.)    The next series..will contain the following photos... Rain Temple at Tsin-Tsin, China.
1911   J. G. Frazer Golden Bough: Magic Art (ed. 3) I. v. 250   When the rains do not come..the people of Central Angoniland repair to what is called the rain-temple.
1997   TDR 41 iv. 141   The God of the Rain Temple of Irinjalajuda..had spoken for us.

1893—1997(Hide quotations)


  rain-tight adj. impervious to rain, rainproof.

1831   T. Carlyle in Edinb. Rev. Dec. 365   She built a Senate-house likewise, glorious in its kind; and now it costs her a wellnigh mortal effort to sweep it clear of vermin, and get the roof made rain-tight.
1918   Republican Press (Salamanca, N.Y.) 2 May 5/4   The open models have..waterproof tops and rain-tight windshield.
1991   Highway & Heavy Constr. Oct. 46   An environmentally sealed, hand-held PC..weighs only 28 ounces with batteries, and is dustproof and rain-tight.

1831—1991(Hide quotations)


  rain tree   n.  (a) a tree which drips water (or other liquid) from its foliage; esp. the monkey pod, Samanea saman (family Fabaceae ( Leguminosae)), a large evergreen tree originally of Central and South America and now widely planted as a shade tree in tropical regions; also called guango, saman;  (b) an evergreen shrub or small tree of the tropical and South American genus Brunfelsia (family Solanaceae).

1877   Bismarck (Dakota Territory) Tribune 30 July 2/2   In the woods adjacent to the City of Moyobamba exists a tree called by the natives Tamia-caspi (rain tree), which possesses some remarkable qualities.
1879   Bull. U.S. National Mus. No. 13. 75   Brunefelsia pubescens Rain-tree... Flowers odorous before rain.
1946   A. P. Benthall Trees of Calcutta 225   This was taken to be a discharge from the tree itself, hence the name ‘rain tree’.
1980   A. Stows & J. Stows Children's Tree Bk. 26   This is one of the so-called rain trees, because it sometimes appears to drip water; it is not really water, but a sticky liquid coming from an insect called a frog-hopper.
1995   Guardian 14 Oct. (Outlook section) 31/2   It was morning when you opened your eyes, night when you shut them—like the leaves of the enormous raintree in front of our home; its leaves automatically folded up at dusk and opened at dawn.

1877—1995(Hide quotations)


  rain tyre   n. a motor vehicle tyre of a type designed to provide added traction in wet conditions, used esp. on racing cars.

1941   Oakland (Calif.) Tribune 26 Oct. c3/5   The demand for especially constructed mud and rain tires has greatly expanded in recent years.
1978   ‘D. Rutherford’ Collision Course 62   The rain came bucketing down... There was nothing for it but to pit, fit rain tyres and splosh cautiously round.
2006   AutoWeek (Nexis) 20 Nov. 52   Bourdais was the last of the front-runners to pit for rain tires.

1941—2006(Hide quotations)


  rain vault   n. rare a repository or receptacle for the collection of rainwater; spec.  (a) Roman History †a compluvium (obsolete);  (b) a type of concrete rainwater storage tank (a proprietary name in Australia).

1552   R. Huloet Abcedarium Anglico Latinum   Rayne volte, Compluuius lacus.
2006   Constr. Contractor (Austral.) (Nexis) July   Winner: Humes Rain Vault (rainwater harvesting system).

1552—2006(Hide quotations)


  rainwash   n. Geology the washing away of soil and rock fragments by rain; material so washed away.

1863   Trans. Anthropol. Soc. 1 p. xi.   The remains were lodged, not in the brick-earth, but in a more superficial soil, brought down by the weathering and rain-wash of the hillside.
1912   H. B. Woodward Geol. Soils & Substrata xviii. 221   All slopes are liable to receive a certain amount of downwash or rainwash in the form of earthy débris or angular detritus.
2001   Geomorphology 40 96/2   Ireland puts the origin of..many..gullies down, not to forest clearance..and simple subsequent rainwash, but rather to the enhanced runoff from new roads.

1863—2001(Hide quotations)


  rainwear n. clothing designed to protect the wearer from the rain.

1913   Trenton (New Jersey) Evening Times 14 Mar. 14/2 (advt.)    The most up-to-date styles and shapes in rain-wear apparel.
2003   J. Flanders Victorian House (2004) xi. 369   Burberry patented a ‘weatherproof’ cloth called gabardine in 1870, and gradually rainwear became equally common for both sexes.

1913—2003(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, June 2008; most recently modified version published online October 2021).

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