Raining Cats and Dogs


This is a term that refers to heavy rainfall.

Example: Elliot was excited for the day because he had plans to go play soccer with his friends at the park. While he was in his closet grabbing the ball, the smile he had on his face quickly turned upside down as he heard the sound of thunder. He rushed to the window and saw that it was raining cats and dogs outside. “This is no weather to be playing ball in,” Elliot said, shaking his head in disappointment.

Synonyms / Related Phrases:
1. When it rains, it pours
2. It’s pouring rain
3. It’s raining buckets
Rain Cats and Dogs, Man With Umbrella
He’s going to need a stronger umbrella for this kind of rain.

The Origin Of ‘Raining Cats And Dogs’

The common phrase “it’s raining cats and dogs” is at least over 350 years old and has been used, in some form or another, to describe the heavy fall of rain since the 1600s. There are theories that are floating around that try to figure out how the saying may have originated or what it derived from, but ultimately the origins of this expression still remain in question.

There’s a comedy called The City Wit, written in the year 1653 by Richard Brome, that uses a modified version of the phrase. The meaning of it still references the weather:

“It shall raine… Dogs and Polecats.”

The modern wording of the phrase comes as early as the year 1738. It is used in A Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation, by Jonathan Swift:

“I know Sir John will go, though he was sure it would rain cats and dogs.”

Example Sentence(s)

  1. It’s raining cats and dogs outside, so let’s stay inside until things calm down out there.

Note: If the meanings of phrases is what you’re looking for, well, we have a list of them. As for their origins, we have those too but keep in mind that the origins for many idioms are not clear. So then, in cases like that, I’ll either list a theory about how a phrase may have come about, or if not that, then I’ll at least try to include the earliest known quote of the phrase, typically. Of course, it’s possible that older quotes exist and I overlooked them.