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1. To fall to the ground from the sky like rain. Bombs continue to rain down on the city the allied nations' assault continues on the dictatorship continues for its second straight week. Confetti and streamers rained down on the crowd of onlookers.
2. To lob, throw, or hurl something down on someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "rain" and "down." I tried to cover my head and face as the attacker rained down kicks and punches on me. Troops have been raining down bullets on the enemy encampment for over an hour.
rain down on (someone or something)
1. To pour or fall down on someone or something in a shower from above. Dirt and debris rained down on us following the explosion. Bombs continue to rain down on the city from the enemy bombardment. Confetti and streamers rained down on the crowd of onlookers.
2. To cause some liquid, loose substance, or multitudinous small objects to fall down in a shower on someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used either before or after "down." The castle defenders rained boiling oil down on the attackers below the ramparts. The dark clouds began raining down hail on us halfway through the hike.
3. To lob, throw, or hurl multitudinous small objects upon someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used either before or after "down." The other kids started raining down snowballs on us from the other side of the yard. Someone up there is raining rocks down on our car.
4. To give or bestow something on someone in abundance. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used either before or after "down." The boss has been raining praise down on Janet all week for the work she did. People across the country are raining down condemnations on the prime minster for his handling of the crisis.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
rain something down (on someone or something)
to pour something, such as criticism or praise, onto someone or something. (Based on rain down on someone or something.) The employees rained criticism down on the personnel manager for the new policy on sick leave. The audience rained down compliments on the performers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To fall as rain: It rained down hard all day, so we had to cancel the picnic.
2. To fall in large quantities: The rice container tipped over on the top shelf and rice rained down on me.
3. To throw or hurl something down upon someone: The boxer rained blows down on his opponent's head for several seconds. The soldiers rained down arrows from the top of the castle.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.