rain dogs and cats

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rain dogs and cats

  1. (idiomatic, dated, rare) To rain very heavily.
    • 1651, Henry Vaughan, Olor Iscanus:
      The Pedlars of our age have business yet, / And gladly would against the Fayr-day fit / Themselves with such a Roofe, that can secure / Their Wares from Dogs and Cats rain'd in showre.
    • 1672, Maurice Atkins, Minor Burlesques and Travesties:
      Where e're I went on Land or water / Hee'd make a shift to follow after. / Neither had he flincht a foot, had fates / Made it rain down dogs and cats
    • 1678, John Phillips, Maronides:
      When it rains Dogs and Cats in Hell, / The shelter'd Centaurs roar and yell.

Usage notes[edit]

This term is rarely used, whereas rain cats and dogs is in current usage.