35 Synonyms for Rain and Snow

By Mark Nichol

A rich variety of words and phrases are available to describe an array of wet weather conditions. Here are nearly three dozen terms for rain and snow events and their definitions (some accompanied by other meanings).

1. blizzard: a long, severe snowstorm (also, a sudden burst of something that comes in a large amount)
2. cloudburst: a brief, sudden, hard rain
3. condensation: conversion of vapor to a liquid or solid state, such as of cloud vapor into rain (also, the process of making something shorter)
4. deluge: a sudden large amount of rain (also refers to flooding or an inundation of anything, such as mail delivered to a destination)
5. downfall: a sudden and or heavy rain
6. downpour: a sudden, heavy, continuous burst of rain
7. driving rain: rain pushed by a strong wind
8. drizzle: a light rain of small drops
9. flurry: a brief, light fall of snow (also, a sudden appearance or occurrence, or a brief period of activity or excitement)
10. hail: small balls or lumps of ice and snow (also, something that suggests the impact of hail, such as a hail of bullets)
11. hailstorm: a storm that produces hail
12. ice storm: a freezing rain that leaves ice deposits
13. mist: very small drops of floating or falling moisture (also, a spray of moisture or something that obscures understanding)
14. mizzle: a very fine rain
15. monsoon: very heavy rain associated with a wind that periodically appears throughout the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia, or the season during which this occurs
16. northeaster (or nor’easter): a rain storm or snowstorm occurring in New England that originates in the northeast
17. precipitation: water in the form of rain or snow; also abbreviated colloquially as precip (also, the process of separating a solid from a liquid)
18. rainfall: the amount of rain that falls in a particular area
19. rainstorm: a storm that produces rain
20. Scotch mist: a mixture of mist and light rain
21. scud: a slight, sudden shower, especially one driven by wind
22. sheet: a moving expanse of rain (also, various other meanings pertaining to broad, thin objects)
23. shower: a short rain of precipitation (also, a fall of meteors or something figuratively resembling a shower, such as an outpouring of support, or a party given for a woman about to marry or give birth, or a bath of water showered on the body or the apparatus for such a bath)
24. sleet: frozen or partly frozen rain
25. snow: ice crystals that fall as precipitation (also, something resembling snow)
26. snowstorm: a storm that produces snow
27. spit: a brief, slight, and perhaps intermittent fall of rain or snow (also, saliva or a similar excretion)
28. sprinkle: a light rain (also, something dropped in small amounts, such as candy sprinkles)
29. squall: a heavy rain with wind
30. sun shower: a short rain that occurs during partial cloud cover
31. tempest: a violent rainstorm
32. thundershower: a brief storm accompanied by lightning and thunder
33. thunderstorm: a storm accompanied by lightning and thunder
34. torrent: a large amount of rain (also, a large amount of water or of anything that flows suddenly)
35. virga: streaks of rain that evaporate before they reach the ground

Click here to get access to 800+ interactive grammar exercises!


2 Responses to “35 Synonyms for Rain and Snow”

  • Marilynn Byerly

    I have heard the term “nor’easter” used for storms on the North Carolina coast by speakers and weather people so it’s not specific to New England anymore.

  • WalksOnDirt

    Graupel is another form of precipitation I learned about a few years ago. It’s also called soft hail.

Leave a comment: