English Idiom – Take a rain check or Rain check.

Meaning – To politely refuse an offer or invitation, on the implication that you may accept it some time in the future. If you use this expression you are saying that that you cannot accept an invitation at this point in time, but you are making it clear that you would like to accept it at a future time.

The phrase can be used humorously to mean that the speaker is not interested in attending an event at the moment, and is not likely to be interested in attending in the future.

This phrase is derived from the sport of baseball, where a rain check is a ticket that allows the holder to attend a future game that is played after the original game has been cancelled due to rain.

More Expressions featuring Rain:

  • As right as rainidiom
  • Come rain or shine – (You’ll do something) no matter what the weather is.
  • It never rains but it pours – If something bad happens, more bad things are sure to follow.
  • Raining cats and dogs – idiom
  • Rain on somebody’s parade – To spoil something for somebody.


When could you use this idiom?

  • You can’t accept an invitation to a good friend’s dinner party.
  • Someone is inviting you to an event but you already have made arrangements.
  • A family member is inviting you for coffee but you are too busy to accept.
  • You want to watch a movie with a friend but you are busy at the time they suggest.


  • “I’ll have to take a rain check for your dinner party this Saturday. Please do invite me to the next one though!”

In The News:


  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.’

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