take a rain check

take a rain check

Meaning:

  • decline an offer that might be taken up later
  • refuse an offer politely, but imply that it can be taken up later
  • cannot accept an invitation, but would like to do so later

Example:

  1. I’ll take a rain check on the party tonight, I have a lot of work to finish right now.
  2. He said he would take a rain check on visiting us today.
  3. I’ll have to take a rain check on going to the movies this evening, I already have other plans.
  4. He couldn’t attend the concert with his friends. He took a rain check instead.
  5. Mind if take a rain check on the team outing? I have to finish this project by tomorrow.
  6. I would have loved to come to your place, but I’ll take a rain check on that. I will be out of town during the weekend.

Origin:
The phrase originated in the 1880s in the USA in reference to baseball games. If it rained heavily enough for a match to be postponed, the ticket holders to the match were given a “rain check”, i.e., a voucher to attend another match.

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