Water falling in drops from the clouds; the descent of water from the clouds in drops. "Rain is water by the heat of the sun divided into very small parts ascending in the air, till, encountering the cold, it be condensed into clouds, and descends in drops." (Ray) "Fair days have oft contracted wind and rain." (Milton)

Rain is distinguished from mist by the size of the drops, which are distinctly visible. When water falls in very small drops or particles, it is called mist; and fog is composed of particles so fine as to be not only individually indistinguishable, but to float or be suspended in the air. See Fog, and Mist.

<meteorology> Rain band See Quail. Rain water, water that has fallen from the clouds in rain.

Origin: OF. Rein, AS. Regen; akin to OFries. Rein, D. & G. Regen, OS. & OHG. Regan, Icel, Dan, & Sw. Regn, Goth. Rign, and prob. To L. Rigare to water, to wet; cf. Gr. To wet, to rain.

(01 Mar 1998)

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