Rain Vocabulary

Rain Vocabulary

“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”

Bob Marley, a Jamaican singer-songwriter

Do you like it when it rains? Can you feel the rain or are you one of those who just get wet? We hope, even if you get caught in the rain, you can get shelter from it soon, and darkening skies can never darken your mood.

In this post, we will look at synonyms for the word rain, common rain collocations, idioms and proverbs. So, make yourself comfortable and enjoy reading and learning…

Types of Rain

Rain is water that falls from the clouds in small drops. But the word has several synonyms which can help you become more articulate in everyday speech:

  • drizzle – light rain, misty rain: The drizzle (noun) has stopped. It’s drizzling (verb).
  • mizzle – misty rain (its droplets are too small to fall like drizzle droplets): This mizzle (noun) has been getting on my nerves. It’s been mizzling (verb) all day. 
  • downpour/deluge/rainstorm – a heavy continuous fall of rain, torrential rain: She was soaked through after being caught in an unexpected downpour. A dozen homes were damaged in the deluge. The accident happened during the rainstorm.
  • sleet – rain that is partly frozen: It was sleeting (verb) when I looked outside. Most areas will have the same mix of sunshine and scattered sleet (noun) or snow showers.
  • shower – a short period of light rain: There will be scattered showers in the afternoon. 

Note that rain is an uncountable noun because it means water, which is uncountable: A spot of rain has just fallen on my nose (= a drop of rain (water)); The forecast is for wind and patchy rain. But if we use an adjective to modify the noun, we usually use the article a before the noun phrase: We had a heavy rain last night. The mist simulates a light rain. The is also possible, with or without an adjective: The heavy rain is causing problems. The rain is persistent. 

“Without the rain there would be no rainbow.” – G.Chesterton)

Rain Idioms

It is no wonder there are so many idioms connected with rain in the English language. Don’t forget it rains a lot in England and the rest of Britain. Here are some commonly used idioms (not only in the UK but also in the US):

  • to rain on one’s parade – to hinder someone’s enjoyment; to upset someone’s plans: I won’t let you rain on my parade. 
  • when it rains, it pours (Am.Em) / it never rains but it pours (Br.E.) – when something bad happens, other bad things usually happen at the same time: After I had lost my car keys, I found my fridge was broken. When it rains, it pours. 
  • right as rain (Br.E.) – perfectly OK: Don’t worry! Tomorrow I’ll be as right as rain.
  • rain or shine – regardless of circumstances: I’ll do it rain or shine. 
  • the calm before the storm – a quiet period in which there is little or no activity, before a period in which there is a lot of trouble or intense activity: We thought we were safe. But it was just the calm before the storm. 
  • a storm is brewing – there is going to be trouble: She looks furious. A storm is brewing. 
  • to take a rain check (on a suggestion/offer) – not to accept an offer/suggestion at once but possibly accept it later: Do you mind if I take a rain check on that drink? I have to work late tonight.
  • every cloud has a silver lining – every difficult or unpleasant situation has some advantage: I know you think it’s all wrong. But every cloud has a silver lining. You’ll just see it a bit later.
  • to save (usually money) for a rainy day – to save money until a time in the future when you might need it: She has saved some money for a rainy day.
  • to steal one’s thunder – to prevent someone from having success or getting attention, praise, etc.: I really didn’t mean to steal your thunder at your birthday party. I’m sorry for having come wearing this silly costume!

Rain Proverbs

Rain has inspired people to create a lot of beautiful idioms. And many wise proverbs were inspired by rain too. We hope you’ll appreciate the beauty of the ones below :

  • A little rain each day will fill the rivers to overflow (Liberian proverb).
  • Rain doesn’t fall on one roof alone (Cameroonian proverb).
  • After a storm comes a calm (French proverb).
  • The sharper the storm, the sooner it’s over (Spanish proverb)
  • If every day was a sunny day, who would not wish for rain? (Japanese proverb)
  • If rain bothers you, you can always jump into the sea. (Chinese proverb)

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