Definition of Rainbow

1. Noun. An arc of colored light in the sky caused by refraction of the sun's rays by rain.

Group relationships: Sky
Generic synonyms: Arc, Bow



2. Noun. An illusory hope. "Chasing rainbows"
Generic synonyms: Hope, Promise

Definition of Rainbow

1. n. A bow or arch exhibiting, in concentric bands, the several colors of the spectrum, and formed in the part of the hemisphere opposite to the sun by the refraction and reflection of the sun's rays in drops of falling rain.

Definition of Rainbow

1. Noun. A multicoloured arch in the sky, produced by prismatic refraction of light within droplets of rain in the air. ¹

2. Noun. Any prismatic refraction of light showing a spectrum of colours. ¹

3. Noun. (context: often used with “of”) A wide assortment; a varied multitude. ¹

4. Noun. An illusion, mirage ¹

5. Noun. (baseball) A curveball, particularly a slow one ¹

6. Noun. (context: poker slang) In Texas hold 'em or Omaha hold 'em, a flop that contains three different suits ¹

7. Adjective. Multicoloured. ¹

8. Adjective. (context: attributive chiefly US) Made up of several races or ethnicities, or (more broadly) of several cultural or ideological factions. ¹

9. Adjective. (attributive) LGBT. ¹

10. Adjective. (poker chiefly of a flop) Composed entirely of different suits. ¹

11. Verb. (transitive) To pattern with many colours, like a rainbow. ¹

¹ Source: wiktionary.com

Definition of Rainbow

1. an arc of spectral colors formed in the sky [n -S]

Medical Definition of Rainbow

1. A bow or arch exhibiting, in concentric bands, the several colours of the spectrum, and formed in the part of the hemisphere opposite to the sun by the refraction and reflection of the sun's rays in drops of falling rain. Besides the ordinary bow, called also primary rainbow, which is formed by two refractions and one reflection, there is also another often seen exterior to it, called the secondary rainbow, concentric with the first, and separated from it by a small interval. It is formed by two refractions and two reflections, is much fainter than the primary bow, and has its colours arranged in the reverse order from those of the latter. Lunar rainbow, a fainter arch or rainbow, formed by the moon. Marine rainbow, or Sea bow, a similar bow seen in the spray of waves at sea. Rainbow trout See Wrasse. Supernumerary rainbow, a smaller bow, usually of red and green colours only, sometimes seen within the primary or without the secondary rainbow, and in contact with them. Origin: AS. Regenboga, akin to G. Regenbogen. See Rain, and Bow anything bent. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Rainbow

rain on someone's parade
rain or shine
rain out
rain pitchforks
rain shadow
rain shower
rain stick
rain tree
rain trees
rainband
rainbands
rainbird
rainbirds
rainboot
rainboots
rainbow (current term)
rainbow-colored
rainbow bridge
rainbow cactus
rainbow coalition
rainbow fish
rainbow lorikeet
rainbow parties
rainbow perch
rainbow pink
rainbow runner
rainbow runners
rainbow seaperch

Literary usage of Rainbow

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Report of the Annual Meeting (1858)
"At about 6 PM, after a thunder-storm—which was the second on that day—a rainbow was formed. The phenomenon to be described was seen about the left-hand part ..."

2. History of the Inductive Sciences from the Earliest to the Present Time by William Whewell (1857)
"2) he says, ' The rainbow is never more than a semicircle. And at sunset and sunrise, the circle is least, but the arch is greatest ; when the sun is high, ..."

3. New England: A Photographic Portrait by Twin Lights Publishers, J Dennis Robinson (2003)
"New England wisdom also tells us—If there be a rainbow in the eve, it will rain and it will leave. This stunning optical show was captured over Sandy Stream ..."

4. History of the Inductive Sciences from the Earliest to the Present Time by William Whewell (1857)
"Aristotle s Account of the rainbow. To exemplify the state of physical knowledge among the Greeks, we may notice briefly Aristotle's account of the rainbow; ..."

5. History of the Inductive Sciences from the Earliest to the Present Time by William Whewell (1858)
"2) he says, "The rainbow is never more than a semicircle. ... The centre of the circle of which the rainbow is part, is always opposite to the sun. ..."

6. A System of Natural Philosophy: In which the Principles of Mechanics by John Lee Comstock (1836)
"Each circle of colors of which the rainbow is formed, is therefore ... It follows, then, that if we change our position, while looking at a rainbow, ..."

7. The Best Short Stories of ... and the Yearbook of the American Short Story edited by Edward Joseph Harrington O'Brien (1918)
"rainbow PETE1 By RICHARD MATTHEWS HALLET From The Pictorial ... Papa Isbister thought fit to tell us the fate of rainbow Pete, of whose physical deformity ..."

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