• The Rainbow
    The Rainbow
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n rainbow an illusory hope "chasing rainbows"
    • n rainbow an arc of colored light in the sky caused by refraction of the sun's rays by rain
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The rainbow-trout The rainbow-trout
Rainbow painting Rainbow painting

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A rainbow can occur only when the sun is 40 degrees or less above the horizon
    • n Rainbow rān"bō` 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.☞ 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 colors arranged in the reverse order from those of the latter.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Hens can distinguish between all the colors of the rainbow.
    • n rainbow A bow, or an arc of a circle, consisting of the prismatic colors, formed by the refraction and reflection of rays of light from drops of rain or vapor, appearing in the part of the heavens opposite to the sun. When large and strongly illuminated, the rainbow presents the appearance of two concentric arches, the inner being called the primary and the outer the secondary rainbow. Each is formed of the colors of the solar spectrum, but the colors are arranged in reversed order, the red forming the exterior ring of the primary bow and the interior of the secondary. The primary bow is formed by rays of the sun that enter the upper part of falling drops of rain, and undergo two refractions and one reflection; the secondary, by rays that enter the under part of rain drops, and undergo two refractions and two reflections. Hence, the colors of the secondary bow are fainter than those of the primary. The rainbow is regarded as a symbol of divine beneficence toward man, from its being made the token of the covenant that the earth should never again be destroyed by a flood (Gen. ix. 13–17). Smaller bows, sometimes circular and very brilliant, are often seen through masses of mist or spray, as from a waterfall or from waves about a ship. (See fog-bow.) The moon sometimes forms a bow or arch of light, more faint than that formed by the sun, and called a lunar rainbow.
    • n rainbow In heraldry, the representation of a half-ring divided into seven concentric narrow rings and arched upward, each end resting on a clump of clouds. To avoid the difficulty of finding seven different tinctures, the number of concentric rings is sometimes diminished to three, usually azure, or, and g ules—that is, blue, gold, and red.
    • n rainbow In ornithology, a humming-bird of tho genus Diphlogena, containing two most brilliantly plumaged species, D. iris of Bolivia, and D. hesperus of Ecuador.
    • n rainbow The rainbow-fish.
    • rainbow To color like a rainbow, or so brightly as to suggest the rainbow; curve over or surround, as with a rainbow.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: It is possible to see a rainbow at night
    • Rainbow the brilliant-coloured bow or arch seen when rain is falling opposite the sun, called lunar rainbow when formed by the moon
    • ***


  • Jerry Chin
    Jerry Chin
    “And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”
  • Bert Whitney
    Bert Whitney
    “If I traveled to the end of the rainbow as Dame Fortune did intend, Murphy would be there to tell me the pot's at the other end.”
  • Edward A. Navajo
    Edward A. Navajo
    “Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail.”
  • Paul Cezanne
    Paul Cezanne
    “We live in a rainbow of chaos.”
  • Samuel Levenson
    Samuel Levenson
    “It's a good thing that when God created the rainbow he didn't consult a decorator or he would still be picking colors.”
  • Abraham Lincoln
    “Military glory --the attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood.”


Chase rainbows - If someone chases rainbows, they try to do something that they will never achieve.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. regenboga, akin to G. regenbogen,. See Rain, and Bow anything bent
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. regn, rén, rain; Dut. and Ger. regen, Ice. regn.


In literature:

And now, beyond life, and beyond death, with eternity curving like a rainbow of light around them, they dashed on and on into the unknown.
"Hunters Out of Space" by Joseph Everidge Kelleam
When dinner was out of the way, the four young people started to walk to Rainbow Cliffs, as that was the show-spot of all the countryside.
"Polly and Eleanor" by Lillian Elizabeth Roy
Where does God call the rainbow "My bow"?
"Little Folks" by Various
As gradually as the growth of the rainbow above the jungle, the lines reformed themselves.
"Edge of the Jungle" by William Beebe
Don't you remember how he looked up from his sordid misery to the rainbow?
"Tongues of Conscience" by Robert Smythe Hichens
The lower part of a rainbow visible towards the horizon, and betokening squally weather: it is fainter than the wind-gall.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
She looks a fool, and was dressed in all the colors of the rainbow.
"A Coin of Edward VII" by Fergus Hume
When he reached the spot where the end of the rainbow had rested, the rainbow was gone.
"The Book of Stories for the Storyteller" by Fanny E. Coe
But I don't mean to give up seeking my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
"Antony Gray,--Gardener" by Leslie Moore
It looks as tho rainbows had rained on it!
"Fairy Prince and Other Stories" by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

In poetry:

Th' untutor'd savage, roaming wild,
Could view the rainbow in the sky,
And, tho' in science but a child,
He saw with gladden'd heart, and eye.
"How Nature's Beauties Should Be Viewed" by Thomas Frederick Young
Our songs are but of doubts and fears
That haunt us with their shadowy wing;
The rainbows that we see through tears
Fade into sadness as we sing.
"Broken Melodies" by Alexander Anderson
'Twas then I left thee, Ennisfall,
While rainbow Hope before me shone ; —
I am return'd at last—and all
The friends I Iov'd are past and gone.
"Ennisfall" by Mary Anne Browne
Mirrors of morn
Whence the dewdrop is born,
Soft tints of the rainbow and skies--
Sisters of song,
What a shadowy throng
Around you in memory rise!
"Flowers" by Mary Baker Eddy
That lie like babes all hushed and bright,
And suck in sun and rainbow-skies;
Thus will I drink the words of light,
Falling adown thy lips and eyes.
"Aspirations" by Mathilde Blind
Shall gods be said to thump the clouds
When clouds are cursed by thunder,
Be said to weep when weather howls?
Shall rainbows be their tunics' colour?
"Shall gods be said to thump the clouds" by Dylan Thomas

In news:

WHIO's Yuna Lee is at "Wings over the Rainbow," where crews have taken the birds.
A full rainbow and a lightning strike are seen from the banks of the Little Arkansas River near downtown Wichita on Saturday.
They performed a rousing rendition of SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW and a new tune, LOVE LIKE A CHILD, that they wrote in honor of today's St Jude Radiothon.
It was all sunshine and rainbows when it first started.
'Reading Rainbow' app aims to take kids to new learning heights.
Audra sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and also performed a duet with Phillip Roller.
Alina Fayeand Christopher Fitzgerald in Finian's Rainbow.
Finian's Rainbow By Yip Harburg, Burton Lane, and Fred Saidy St James Theatre 246 West 44th Street, 212-239-6200.
It appears Radiohead can now increase the sound quality of In Rainbows.
Last weeks rainy Sunday provided the conditions for a dramatic rainbow at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis.
'Over the Rainbow' winner realizing she's not in La Salle, Ont.
Team Obama is "winning the future" by strangling it in red, green, and rainbow-colored tape.
Chad the Fish Assasin and Cliff head out on the shores of the Pend Oreille and Priest river to track down some Rainbow trout.
Children read an edition of the "Qaws Quzah" (Rainbow) magazine, in Tunis ( ZOUBEIR SOUISSI, REUTERS / October 9, 2012 ).
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is planning to release some of those big rainbow trout you may have seen in a rearing pond at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

In science:

Then, whp, there exists a rainbow Hamilton cycle if q ≥ 4, and not if q ≤ 3.
Rainbow Hamilton cycles in random regular graphs
In our setting, when d = 2q has to be even, we thus whp have Hamilton cycles, ignoring the colouring, when d ≥ 4, but rainbow Hamilton cycles only when d ≥ 8.
Rainbow Hamilton cycles in random regular graphs
Condition on H1 , and let H1 be the (unique) rainbow Hamilton cycle that uses the chosen half-edges.
Rainbow Hamilton cycles in random regular graphs
Hence, the left hand side of (5.1) equals the expectation in the union of a random rainbow Hamilton cycle H1 and an independent G∗ c (n, 2q − 2) on the same vertex set.
Rainbow Hamilton cycles in random regular graphs
In this section we briefly consider the analoguous problem of the existence of a rainbow perfect matching in a randomly coloured random regular graph.
Rainbow Hamilton cycles in random regular graphs