Meaning of “rain” in the English Dictionary

"rain" in British English

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rainnoun [ U ]

uk /reɪn/ us /reɪn/

A1 drops of water from clouds:

Rain is forecast for tomorrow.
Come inside out of the rain.
We had heavy/light rain all day.
We got caught in pouring/torrential (= a lot of) rain without either raincoats or umbrellas.
There will be showers of rain/rain showers (= short periods of rain) in the east.
It looks like rain (= as if rain is going to fall).
the rains [ plural ]

the season of the year in tropical countries when there is a lot of rain:

Villagers are now waiting for the rains to come so that the rice will grow.
This is the third year in a row that the rains have failed.

More examples

  • Do you think those are rain clouds on the horizon?
  • All I could hear was the drip of the rain from the roof.
  • At last the rain began to ease off.
  • All areas of the country will have some rain tonight.
  • The water level in the lake is much higher after heavy rain.

rainverb [ I ]

uk /reɪn/ us /reɪn/

A1 If it rains, water falls from the sky in small drops:

I think it's starting to rain.
It's raining hard/heavily (= a large amount of rain is falling).

More examples

  • There's a slight coolness in the air - do you think it's going to rain?
  • This little stream can become a deluge when it rains heavily.
  • It's rained all day today.
  • It had been raining hard most of the afternoon.
  • You'll have to stay in at playtime today, because it's raining.

(Definition of “rain” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"rain" in American English

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rainnoun [ U ]

us /reɪn/

drops of water that fall from clouds:

It looks like rain (= as if rain is going to fall).
rainy
adjective us /ˈreɪ·ni/

a rainy afternoon

Idiom(s)

rainverb [ I ]

us /reɪn/

Rain can also mean to fall in a large amount:

Debris from the explosion rained down.

(Definition of “rain” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)