• (America) IPA: /ˈɹeɪnboʊ/, /ˈɹeɪmboʊ/; enPR rān'bō
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈɹeɪnbəʊ/

rainbow (plural rainbows)

  1. A multicoloured arch in the sky, produced by prismatic refraction of light within droplets of rain in the air.
  2. Any prismatic refraction of light showing a spectrum of colours.
  3. (often used with “of”) A wide assortment; a varied multitude.
    a rainbow of possibilities
  4. (figurative) An illusion, mirage.
    Many electoral promises are rainbows, vanishing soon after poll day.
  5. (baseball) A curveball, particularly a slow one.
  6. (poker slang) In Texas hold 'em or Omaha hold 'em, a flop that contains three different suits.
  7. Rainbow trout.
    • 1911, Francis R. Steel, Catching the Rainbow Trout, in The Outing Magazine, volume 58, page 482:
      Finally, by actual trial, I have found that I can catch more rainbow by using one fly than with a two or three-fly cast.
Synonyms Translations Adjective

rainbow (not comparable)

  1. Multicolored.
  2. (attributive, chiefly, US) Made up of several races or ethnicities, or (more broadly) of several cultural or ideological factions.
    • 1994, John Simon, Of Dogs, Their Masters, and Others, in New York magazine, September 5 1994, page 51:
      That Asian-American actor Thomas Ikeda contributes a pleasingly frantic Panthino would not be considered rainbow enough.
    • 2006, Anthony Summers, Robbyn Swan, Sinatra: The Life, page 246:
      He went along with them because the Pack was a rainbow group — two Italian-Americans, a black man, a Jew (Bishop), and a sometime Englishman (Lawford) — and they were making a point.
    • 2007, Melissa Haussman, Birgit Sauer, Gendering the state in the age of globalization, page 67:
      The 1999 June elections led to a surprise change in the governing coalition from the long-term ruling Christian Democrats to a rainbow group of Greens, Liberals, and Socialists.
    • 2007, Hooson, in a Letter to the Western Mail, 19 June 2007, published in Crossing the Rubicon: coalition politics Welsh style by John Osmond, page 28:
      […] it seemed to me to be naive indeed for the Liberal Democrats to believe that they could simply enter into a rainbow alliance against the Labour Government.
  3. (attributive) LGBT.
  4. (poker, chiefly, of a flop) Composed entirely of different suit#Noun|suits.
Synonyms Translations Verb

rainbow (rainbows, present participle rainbowing; past and past participle rainbowed)

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


rainbow (plural rainbows)

  1. A member of the Rainbow Guides, a Girl Guide movement for younger girls.

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