acid rain

noun
precipitation, as rain, snow, or sleet, containing relatively high concentrations of acid-forming chemicals, as the pollutants from coal smoke, chemical manufacturing, and smelting, that have been released into the atmosphere and combined with water vapor: harmful to the environment.

Origin:
1855–60

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World English Dictionary
acid rain
 
n
rain that contains a high concentration of pollutants, chiefly sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, released into the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal or oil

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

acid rain definition


A type of precipitation made up of dilute acids, primarily a by-product of heavy industry.

Note: Acid rain is a result of the combination of water with chemicals released into the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
That's because raindrops simply take the pollutants with them as they fall from
  the atmosphere-the mechanism behind acid rain.
There were fires worldwide, a tsunami more than half a mile high and storms of
  acid rain.
Opponents say it might produce acid rain and decimate plant and fish life.
The gas also causes acid rain and wears away the ozone layer, a key barrier to
  the sun's rays.
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