rain check

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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?
See also: check, rain

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.
See also: check, rain

rain check

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.
See also: check, rain
References in periodicals archive ?
Speaking at the Institute of Welsh Affairs Annual Dinner event, Mr Gowers recognised the importance of unshackling oneself from London and taking regular rain checks around the rest of the UK.
"Haven't you ever heard of rain checks? When we miss a delivery, it actually means the customer has to come back to the store a second time to make their purchase.
From then on, it was rain checks and a lot of apologies.
Taxes are not included, and no rain checks will be offered.
If a store is out of stock of a product, then it generally has to provide customers with a "rain check." Rain checks allow shoppers to buy the product for the advertised price when it is in stock again.
* "Best Buy more often than not does not have what they advertise, and rain checks are a joke there."
Not just at the grand opening, where eagle-eyed trainers were so attentive you'd never want to leave, but at the Garden City Bloomie's home sale three weeks ago, where informed, helpful clerks cheerfully wrote rain checks for Cuisinart products that sold out the first day.
ONE SUGGESTION TO THOSE USING RAIN CHECKS AS A SOLUTION: OFFER SHOPPERS (ESPECIALLY THOSE ENROLLED IN CLUB PROGRAMS) A CHOICE OF A RAIN CHECK OR A COMPARABLE ITEM AT THE SPECIAL PRICE WHENEVER YOU CAN.
In May, when the store featured Checkolite International's ceiling fan, with blades shaped like Coke bottles, it sold 5,000 units and issued 4,000 rain checks from its first flyer.
Poor forecasting cost the chain in the handling of rain checks on sale goods, and probably in ill will as well.