What does the idiom "When it rains it pours" mean?

When it rains it pours is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression When it rains it pours is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "When it rains it pours"


The idiom “when it rains it pours” is used to refer to a situation in which something bad or unpleasant happens all at once in quick succession. It is often used to describe a series of unfortunate events. The phrase implies that when one thing goes wrong, it can often lead to a chain of events where everything seems to suddenly fall apart.


The literal meaning of this phrase is derived from the fact that when rain falls from the sky, it typically does so heavily and quickly. The phrase has been in use since the early 20th century and was first recorded in the year 1904. The exact origin of the phrase is unknown, though it is believed to have originated in the southern United States.


This phrase is typically used in a conversational manner when speaking about a series of negative events. It can also be used to express sympathy for someone who is in the middle of a particularly unfortunate situation. Depending on the context and tone of voice, the phrase can be used in a lighthearted way or with a more serious tone.

Example Sentences

  • I thought things were going smoothly, but when it rains it pours. Now I'm dealing with a problem I didn't know I had.
  • It's been a rough few days. When it rains it pours, right?
  • My car needed a new tire, and then the transmission went out. I guess when it rains it pours.

The meanings of the words in the "When it rains it pours" idiom

The Surprising Origins of Everyday English Idioms

Many English idioms have surprisingly dark origins, often rooted in violence, death, and superstition. For instance, the phrase "raining cats and dogs" is said to have originated in the 17th century, when heavy rain would often cause dead animals to wash up on the streets. Meanwhile, the idiom "rule of thumb" is believed to have originated from a law that allowed men to beat their wives with a stick no thicker than their thumb.


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