Definition of pour in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /pôr/


[no object]
1(Especially of a liquid) flow rapidly in a steady stream: water poured off the roof figurative words poured from his mouth
More example sentences
  • Another stream of smoke poured out of his mouth and hovered near the ceiling.
  • Suddenly, a cascade of water started pouring down, starting to rapidly fill the room.
  • Her answer poured from her mouth rapidly, as if to hint that she didn't really want to talk about him.
stream, flow, run, gush, course, jet, spurt, surge, spill
1.1 [with object] Cause (a liquid) to flow from a container in a steady stream by holding the container at an angle: she poured a little whiskey into a glass
More example sentences
  • The inquest heard that Daniel cut the container using broken glass, poured liquid on the floor and set fire to it using a lighter.
  • The waiter pours some creamy liquid on the rice.
  • Mark went to work on him, cleaning the wound, and pouring various liquids on the open wound.
tip, let flow, splash, spill, decant
informal slosh, slop
1.2 [with object] Prepare and serve (a drink): she poured out a cup of tea [with two objects]: Harry poured her a drink
More example sentences
  • He poured some tea and drank while watching the rising sun.
  • She pours tea for students in national costume.
  • I sighed and pulled it out, grabbed four cups, and started pouring the drinks.
1.3(Of rain) fall heavily: the storm clouds gathered and the rain poured down [with object]: it’s pouring rain
More example sentences
  • My wavy brown hair was now unattractively straight, plastered onto my face as the rain poured down heavily on me.
  • Rain poured down in sheets, soaking my hair into a moppy mess.
  • And still the rain poured down, beating against the glass panes.
rain heavily/hard, teem down, pelt down, come down in torrents/sheets, rain cats and dogs
1.4(Of people or things) come or go in a steady stream and in large numbers: letters poured in
More example sentences
  • Donations and letters have been pouring into the UNFPA at such a rate that the agency has hired two interns to sort and keep track of the incoming mail.
  • However, when the site received international media attention, letters started pouring in from all over the world.
  • The response to this survey has been truly phenomenal with literally hundreds of letters pouring in every week from people anxious to have their say.
throng, crowd, swarm, stream, flood
1.5 [with object] (pour something into) Donate something, especially money, to (a particular enterprise or project) in large amounts: Belgium has been pouring money into the company
More example sentences
  • And, by the by, he also pours his money into men's and women's hockey within his native community.
  • Yet the professionals were pouring their own money into tech stocks and commodity-exploration firms that were ripe for recovery but too risky for the public.
  • How much better if councillors poured our money into a nightclub.
1.6 [with object] (pour something out) Express one’s feelings or thoughts in a full and unrestrained way: in his letters, Edward poured out his hopes
More example sentences
  • The newspaper reports that she pours her heart out about the break-up of her marriage.
  • Love was new and beautiful to her, and her feelings were poured out and expressed in her tears.
  • After staring at them for ten minutes, he finally started to speak, pouring his heart out.
1.7 (pour oneself into) humorous Dress oneself in (a tight-fitting piece of clothing): I poured myself into a short Lycra skirt
More example sentences
  • I tried most of it and when I mentioned it to one of friends, I was asked if this was wise considering that there was a pre-bought bridesmaid dress that I would have to shortly pour myself into.
  • Is there a man among you who hasn't poured himself into tight jeans or favoured a T-shirt that flashed a beefy bicep?
  • Her husband, it reminded readers, stayed at home changing nappies while she poured herself into frocks.


On the confusion of pour and pore, see pore2 (usage).



when it rains it pours

proverb Misfortunes or difficult situations tend to follow each other in rapid succession or to arrive all at the same time.
Example sentences
  • I never had an injury before in my life, but it's true what they say about injuries, it never rains but it pours.
  • When this fact is added to the rule of thumb that it never rains but it pours and the received wisdom that bad news comes in threes, the omens point to a particularly uncomfortable trip when Edinburgh travel to Toulouse next weekend.
  • Farmers need little convincing at present of the truth of the saying that it never rains but it pours.

pour cold water on

see cold.

pour it on

North American informal Progress or work quickly or with all one’s energy.
Example sentences
  • He really pours it on at the end, when the demons return to their graves; it's a mournful theme that makes you feel sorry for the damned.
  • As we melted with the feeling of the song, he poured it on.
  • Yesterday I really poured it on and ended up at under 2,000 calories.

pour oil on troubled waters

Try to settle a disagreement or dispute with words intended to placate or pacify those involved.
Example sentences
  • Needless to say, this sort of rumor-mongering has no place in American politics, and we're proud to be pouring oil on troubled waters, instead of fanning the flames.
  • One African minister advised against ‘pouring oil on troubled waters’.
  • Pity that their back-benchers brought up the issue on a quiet news day before the last World Cup and have not ceased pouring oil on troubled waters since.

pour scorn on

see scorn.



Example sentences
  • Whizz the mixture and then add enough oil to make a pourable dressing - about 3 tbsp.
  • For cracks up to 1/2 inch, use crack filler, packaged in no-mess cartridges for the caulking gun or in pourable squeeze bottles.
  • The prints are covered with adhesive tape, a gel lifter, or a pourable silicone rubber casting compound that contrasts with the color of the developed print.


Pronunciation: /ˈpôrər/
Example sentences
  • He added: ‘Safety measures incorporated following the fire in 1994 include foam pourers fitted to the tanks.’
  • The teapot was a dreadful pourer and our table quickly became a lake!
  • For once we can report an excellent pourer with not a drop running down the spout.


Middle English: of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with pour

abhor, adore, afore, anymore, ashore, awe, bandore, Bangalore, before, boar, Boer, bore, caw, chore, claw, cocksure, comprador, cor, core, corps, craw, Delors, deplore, door, draw, drawer, evermore, explore, flaw, floor, for, forbore, fore, foresaw, forevermore, forswore, four, fourscore, furthermore, Gábor, galore, gnaw, gore, grantor, guarantor, guffaw, hard-core, Haugh, haw, hoar, ignore, implore, Indore, interwar, jaw, Johor, Lahore, law, lessor, lor, lore, macaw, man-o'-war, maw, mirador, mor, more, mortgagor, Mysore, nevermore, nor, oar, obligor, offshore, onshore, open-jaw, or, ore, outdoor, outwore, paw, poor, pore, rapport, raw, roar, saw, scaur, score, senhor, señor, shaw, ship-to-shore, shop-floor, shore, signor, Singapore, snore, soar, softcore, sore, spore, store, straw, swore, Tagore, tau, taw, thaw, Thor, threescore, tor, tore, torr, trapdoor, tug-of-war, two-by-four, underfloor, underscore, war, warrantor, Waugh, whore, withdraw, wore, yaw, yore, your

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pour

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.