Raining Cats and Dogs


Raining cats and dogs is a common phrase that refers to heavy rainfall.

Example: Elliot was excited to go play soccer with his friends. However, his excitement quickly came to an end when he looked out the window and noticed it was raining cats and dogs outside. “This is no weather to be playing ball in,” Elliot said while shaking his head in disappointment.

Synonyms & Related Phrases: when it rains it pours, raining buckets, it’s pouring rain

Phrase: It's raining cats and dogs

The Origin Of ‘Raining Cats And Dogs’

The origin of the phrase it’s raining cats and dogs is at least 350 years old. Yes, since the 17th century, this term has been used in some form or another to describe rainy weather. But why is that? Well, there are theories floating around that try to figure out how this saying originated, but ultimately, its origin unknown and remains a question.

We do know this expression appears in print as early as 1653. For example, a modified form of the phrase makes an appearance in a comedy called The City Wit, written in 1653 by Richard Brome:

“It shall raine… Dogs and Polecats.”

The modern wording of the phrase comes as early as the year 1738. It is found 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 Sentences

Here are some examples of this phrase. One of the sentences uses a synonym:

  • It’s raining cats and dogs outside, so let’s wait a bit for things to calm down before we head to the store.
  • The weather is so gloomy today. It’s pouring buckets and the sky is filled with dark clouds as far as the eye can see.

Note: You can find the meaning of more English phrases on here, just use the letters at the top. It’ll take you to a list of common sayings, then all you have to do is click one to learn more details about it. There are actually hundreds of idioms on here for you to explore, so what are you waiting for?

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