New Word: Rain

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New Word #117

We are praying for rain here, but there’s no rain in sight for the foreseeable future. I remember that in the past, U.S. Open tennis was always disrupted by rain showers, sometimes for hours. Then three retractable roofs were installed in 2017 for the Ashe stadium. I guess this year will be the first time that the roofs would not be used at all.

In the ancient time, a drought or a flood was often a harbinger for social disturbances in a kingdom. The failure of the crops and the ensuing famine would make life impossible for those unfortunate peasants, who would blame corrupt officials or systematic failures as the cause of their misery. Thankfully we don’t have such problems anymore. I hope everybody is fine, or at least content; inflation is eased; politics doesn’t go crazy; narcissists stop torturing their victims; the rain will come soon…

rainmaker vs. rain man

  • rainmaker: Originally, it refers to a person, either a wizard or a scientist, who causes the rain to fall. However, it has evolved to mean in North America a person with exceptional ability who can attract clients, use political connections, and increase profits.
  • rain man: This word comes from the movie “Rain Man” and it means an autistic, or mentally socially impaired person, often with extraordinary memory or abilities.

hurricane vs. typhoon vs. cyclone

  • I think these three words referring to the same tropical storms with damaging winds and rain.

cloudburst, downfall, downpour, shower

  • They all mean violent rainstorm.

rainfall or precipitation

  • When you want to describe the amount of rain a particular area gets in a year, you usually use the phrase annual rainfall or annual precipitation, which includes rain, snow, sleet, or any other water forms falling from clouds.

drizzle or mizzle

  • They both mean light rain and drizzle is the word more often used.


  • the fear of thunder, lighting, and storm, which can manifest in obsessive desire to monitor the storm, the need to hide away from the storm, such as in a closet, bathroom, or under the bed, or clinging to others for protection with uncontrollable crying…


  • raining season


  • relating to rainfall. Basically it is a more esoteric word to replace “rainy” when you want to sound more scholarly.

clement vs. clemency vs inclement

  • clement: It means mild when you want to describe a weather, or merciful when you want to describe a person. However this word is rarely used.
  • clemency: This word is often used in TV shows like “Law & Order”. For example, plead for clemency.
  • inclement: This word is only used in the phrase “inclement weather”. For example, the flea market is postponed due to inclement weather.

cloud seeding, fake rain, artificial rain

  • cloud seeding: the dropping of crystals into clouds to cause rain.
  • fake rain, artificial rain, pluviculture: the attempt to artificially induce precipitation to fend off drought

head in the cloud: to be out of touch or impractical

under the weather: indisposed or out of spirit

rainy days: used in reference to a possible time in the future when money will be needed.

rain cats and dogs: rain very hard

9 thoughts on “New Word: Rain

  1. These collections of related words always set me thinking in some direction or other. In the UK we are supposedly obsessed with the weather. I think it is just that we talk about when we can’t think of another topic. People here often say “it’s trying to rain”. It’s almost as if they think of “it” as a person!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s funny. Weather is a person. Haha, but now I think of it, it is like a person, isn’t it? Right now this person is a little mad at human beings’ recklessness, trashing a planet with unsustainable development and unnatural ideologies.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for enlightening me with several terms I had no idea about. The monsoon season is on its way out here. The temperatures are lower but the humidity is so high. Can just sit and sweat bucket loads. Haha! Thanks for your knowledgeable sharing, Haoyan. 🙂


  3. Love this, especially as I have just moved to the desert in the middle of monsoon season! I feel compelled, however, to point out the difference between a hurricane, cyclone, and typhoon is that they are all formed in different regions. 🙂


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