May 15, 2016
rainbow (noun)
\RAYN-boh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: an arc or circle of colors that appears in the sky opposite the sun and is caused by the sun shining through raindrops, spray, or mist
How do you use it?
The dark storm clouds had been swept away by a strong breeze and now a rainbow was clearly visible above the town's buildings.
Are you a word wiz?

There's more to a rainbow than meets the eye, of course, and there's more to the word "rainbow" than we've told you so far. In fact, "rainbow" has several other meanings. Which of the following do you think is NOT another meaning of the word "rainbow"?

There are many colors in a rainbow, and quite a few meanings for the word "rainbow," but C isn't one of them. The word has had its main and oldest meaning for more than 800 years. For the past 500 years or so, people have also used the word to talk about a goal or hope based on an illusion, as in "chasing a rainbow with that get-rich-quick scheme." About 350 years ago, people started using the word to mean "a wide assortment or range," as in "a rainbow of flavors." For around 200 years, the word has also been used to refer to the kind of fish also known as the "rainbow trout."
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