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A reference to the Bible (King James Version), London: Robert Barker, 1611, Psalms 11:6: “Upon the wicked hee [God] shall raine snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.”


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɹeɪn ˈfaɪ.ə(ɹ) (ə)n ˈbɹɪmˌstəʊn/, /ɹeɪn ˈfaɪɹ (ə)n ˈbɹɪmˌstəʊn/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɹeɪn ˈfaɪɚ (ə)n ˈbɹɪmˌstoʊn/
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  • Hyphenation: rain fire and brim‧stone


rain fire and brimstone (third-person singular simple present rains fire and brimstone, present participle raining fire and brimstone, simple past and past participle rained fire and brimstone)

  1. (transitive, idiomatic) To send horror or destruction.
    • 2003, Ray Hildreth; Charles W. Sasser, chapter 1, in Hill 488, New York, N.Y.: Pocket Books, →ISBN, pages 20–21:
      That day I raised my hand and swore obedience and loyalty to God, country and the Marine Corps, not necessarily in that order, and promised to rain fire and brimstone upon all enemies happened to be only two weeks after the buildup of troops began in Vietnam with the landing of the Ninth Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Da Nang on 9 March 1965.
    • 2012 March 26, William deGraftColeman, chapter 19, in The Gods Declare, Bloomington, Ind.: iUniverse, →ISBN, page 206:
      "After punching him, and making a report, how do I go back and with a ridiculous question like that?" / "Unless you think I am lying you have to. You have no choice." / "What if I don't?" / "I will rain fire and brimstone on you."
    • 2013, Larry Allen, “Overview”, in The Global Economic Crisis: A Chronology, London: Reaktion Books, →ISBN, pages 9–10:
      Even before the global financial crisis flared up, various critics and interested parties rained fire and brimstone upon globalization on several counts. Globalization hampered efforts to shield the environment and lift the living standards of workers. In developed countries cheap foreign imports seemingly turned domestic workers out of doors.
    • 2015, Silver James, chapter 17, in Cowgirls Don’t Cry (Harlequin Desire), Don Mills, Ont.: Harlequin Enterprises, →ISBN, page 178:
      Cyrus Barron straightened to his full height and looked for all the world like some old revival preacher raining fire and brimstone on his congregation.
    • 2016 April 23, Dirk Hayhurst, “Colabello’s entire fairy tale now under suspicion”, in The Sports Network[1], archived from the original on 25 July 2016:
      Yet, if [Chris] Colabello is clean and this really was an accident, then he’d better fight the results with all his might. He’d better rain fire and brimstone down on supplement companies.

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