Dictionary: RAIL-BIRD – RAIN-Y

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A bird of the genus Cuculus. – Encyc.


One who scoffs, insults, censures or reproaches with opprobrious language. – South. Thomson.


Reproachful or insolent language. – 1 Pet. iii.


  1. A series of rails; a fence.
  2. Rails in general; or the scantling for rails.

RAIL-ING, ppr.1

  1. Clamoring with insulting language; uttering reproachful words.
  2. adj. Expressing reproach; insulting; as, a railing accusation. – 2 Pet. ii.

RAIL-ING, ppr.2

Inclosing with rails.


With scoffing or insulting language.

RAIL-LER-Y, n. [usually pronounced ral'lery; Fr. raillerie.]

Banter; jesting language; good humored pleasantry or slight attire; satirical merriment. Let raillery be without malice or heat. – B. Jonson. … Studies employed on low objects; the very naming of them is sufficient to turn them into raillery. – Addison.

RAIL-LEUR, n. [Fr.]

A banterer; a jester; a mocker. [Not English nor in use.] – Sprat.

RAIL-ROAD, or RAIL-WAY, n. [rail and road, or way.]

A road or way on which iron rails are laid for wheels to run on, for the conveyance of heavy loads in vehicles. [It may be well to confine rail-road to the highway, in which a rail-way is laid, and to use rail-way only for the rails when laid. This would be a useful distinction.]

RAI-MENT, n. [for arrayment; Norm. araer, to array; araies, array, apparel. See Array and Ray.]

  1. Clothing in general; vestments; vesture; garments. – Gen. xxiv. Deut. viii. Living, both food and raiment she supplies. – Dryden.
  2. A single garment. Sidney. [In this sense it is rarely used, and indeed is improper.]

RAIN, n. [Sax. rægn, regn, ren.]

The descent of water in drops from the clouds; or the water thus falling. Rain is distinguished from mist, by the size of the drops, which are distinctly visible. When water falls in very small drops or particles, we call it mist, and fog is composed of particles so fine as to be not only indistinguishable, but to float or be suspended in the air.

RAIN, v.i. [Sax. hregnan, regnan, renian, rinan, to rain; Goth. rign, rain; Sax. racu; Cimbric, raekia, rain; D. and G. regen, rain; D. regenen, to rain; Sw. regn, rain; regna, to rain; Dan. regn, rain; regner, to rain; G. beregnen, to rain on. It seems that rain is contracted from regen. It is the Gr. βρεχω, to rain, to water, which we retain in brook, and the Latins, by dropping the prefix, in rigo, irrigo, to irrigate. The primary sense is to pour out, to drive forth, Ar. بَرَكَ baraka, coinciding with Heb. Ch. and Syr. ברך. Class Brg, No. 3.]

  1. To fall in drops from the clouds, as water; used mostly with it for a nominative; as, it rains; it will rain; it rained, or it has rained.
  2. To fall or drop like rain; as, tears rained at their eyes. – Milton.

RAIN, v.t.

To pour or shower down from the upper regions, like rain from the clouds. Then said the Lord to Moses, behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. – Exod. xvi. God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him when he is eating. – Job xx. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest. – Ps. xi.


Beaten or injured by the rain. [Not used.] – Hall.


A bow, or an arch of a circle, consisting of all the colors formed by the refraction and reflection of rays of light from drops of rain or vapor, appearing in the part of the hemisphere opposite to the sun. When the sun is at the horizon, the rainbow is a semicircle. The rainbow is called also iris. – Newton. The moon sometimes forms a bow or area of light, more faint than that formed by the sun, and called lunar rainbow. Similar bows at sea are called marine rainbows or sea bows. – Encyc.


Formed with a rainbow.


Having tints like those of a rainbow. – Mrs. Butler.

RAIN-DEER, n. [Sax. hrana; Basque, orena or orina.]

The rane, or Cervus Tarandus, a ruminant mammal, inhabiting the arctic circle of both continents. In Europe it is never found south of the Baltic, nor in America south of the St. Lawrence; thus written Spect. No. 406. [See Rane.]

RAIN-GAUGE, or RAIN-GAGE, n. [rain and gauge.]

An instrument to receive and measure the quantity of rain that falls. [1841: that falls in a tube.]

RAIN-I-NESS, n. [from rainy.]

The state of being rainy.

RAIN-ING, ppr.

Pouring or showering down from the upper regions, as water from the clouds.


So tight as to exclude rain. – Carlisle.


Water that has fallen from the clouds. – Boyle.

RAIN-Y, a.

Abounding with rain; wet; showery; as, rainy weather; a rainy day or season.