Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to rain check: I'll take a rain check
1. A substitute ticket or pass to attend an event that has been postponed for a later date. They emailed us a rain check for the concert after the guitarist broke his hand in a rock-climbing accident.
2. By extension, a promise to take up an offer that one has initially declined. I'm sorry, but I'll have to take a rain check for dinner this Saturday. Would next weekend work for you?
rain check (on something)
1. a piece of paper allowing one to see an event -- which has been canceled -- at a later time. (Originally said of sporting events that had to be canceled because of rain. *Typically: get ~; have ~; take ~; give someone ~.) The game was canceled because of the storm, but we all got rain checks on it. I can't use a rain check because I'm leaving town for a month.
2. a reissuance of an invitation at a later date. (Said to someone who has invited you to something that you cannot attend now, but would like to attend at a later time. *Typically: get ~; have ~; take ~; give someone ~.) We would love to come to your house, but we are busy next Saturday. Could we take a rain check on your kind invitation? Oh, yes. You have a rain check that's good anytime you can come by and visit.
3. a piece of paper that allows one to purchase an item on sale at a later date. (Stores issue these pieces of paper when they run out of specially priced sale merchandise. *Typically: get ~; have ~; take ~; give someone ~.) The store was all out of the shampoo they advertised, but I got a rain check. Yes, you should always take a rain check so you can get it at the sale price later when they have more.
A promise that an unaccepted offer will be renewed in the future, as in I can't come to dinner Tuesday but hope you'll give me a rain check. This term comes from baseball, where in the 1880s it became the practice to offer paying spectators a rain check entitling them to future admission for a game that was postponed or ended early owing to bad weather. By the early 1900s the term was transferred to tickets for other kinds of entertainment, and later to a coupon entitling a customer to buy, at a later date and at the same price, a sale item temporarily out of stock.