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[kloud] /klaʊd/
a visible collection of particles of water or ice suspended in the air, usually at an elevation above the earth's surface.
any similar mass, especially of smoke or dust.
a dim or obscure area in something otherwise clear or transparent.
a patch or spot differing in color from the surrounding surface.
anything that obscures or darkens something, or causes gloom, trouble, suspicion, disgrace, etc.
a great number of insects, birds, etc., flying together:
a cloud of locusts obscuring the sun.
Digital Technology. any of several, often proprietary, parts of the Internet that allow online processing and storage of documents and data as well as electronic access to software and other resources (usually preceded by the):
More and more software companies are encouraging users to store their work in the cloud.
of or relating to cloud computing:
cloud software; cloud servers.
relating to or doing business on the Internet:
Google and other cloud companies.
verb (used with object)
to overspread or cover with, or as with, a cloud or clouds:
The smoke from the fire clouded the sun from view.
to overshadow; obscure; darken:
The hardships of war cloud his childhood memories.
to make gloomy.
(of distress, anxiety, etc.) to reveal itself in (a part of one's face):
Worry clouded his brow.
to make obscure or indistinct; confuse:
Don't cloud the issue with unnecessary details.
to place under suspicion, disgrace, etc.
to variegate with patches of another color.
verb (used without object)
to grow cloudy; become clouded.
(of a part of one's face) to reveal one's distress, anxiety, etc.:
His brow clouded with anger.
in the clouds,
  1. in a condition of absent-mindedness; lost in reverie.
  2. impractical:
    Their schemes are usually up in the clouds.
on a cloud, Informal. exceedingly happy; in high spirits:
On the night of the prom the seniors were on a cloud.
under a cloud, in disgrace; under suspicion:
After going bankrupt he left town under a cloud.
Origin of cloud
before 900; Middle English; Old English clūd rock, hill; probably akin to clod
Related forms
cloudlike, adjective
intercloud, verb (used with object)
1. vapor. 6. swarm, horde, multitude, throng, host, crowd, army. 14. muddle, distort.
Synonym Study
19. Cloud, fog, haze, mist differ somewhat in their figurative uses. Cloud connotes especially daydreaming: His mind is in the clouds. Fog and haze connote especially bewilderment or confusion: to go around in a fog (haze). Mist has an emotional connotation and suggests tears: a mist in one's eyes. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cloudlike
Historical Examples
  • What is that which floats, magically suspended, cloudlike, before the glass?

    The American Egypt Channing Arnold
  • The pioneer stared at the long blue range, cloudlike in the distance.

    Audrey Mary Johnston
  • Behind these, Castor and Pollux, and next the cloudlike, nebulous Cancer.

    Hodge and His Masters Richard Jefferies
  • cloudlike, yet very real, they beckoned her, and in her stirred the call of motherhood--of life to be.

    Darkness and Dawn George Allan England
  • Great elms throw their cloudlike shadows over the trim and well-kept roads in summertime.

  • The cloudlike ship at which we had gazed was gone into the distance and the twilight; we saw her no more.

    To Have and To Hold Mary Johnston
  • Vic stood out beyond the awning and watched the sun go down over the cloudlike tops of the western mountains.

    The Red Mustang William O. Stoddard
  • Rushing down from the depths of the heavens, these bodies commonly appear as faintly shining, cloudlike masses.

    Outlines of the Earth's History Nathaniel Southgate Shaler
  • More and more of the tiny smoke-bombs released their masses of cloudlike stuff.

    Invasion William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • And she, letting her hair fall cloudlike over her shoulders, silently held out her arms to him.

    The Vehement Flame Margaret Wade Campbell Deland
British Dictionary definitions for cloudlike


a mass of water or ice particles visible in the sky, usually white or grey, from which rain or snow falls when the particles coagulate See also cirrus, cumulonimbus, cumulus, stratus
any collection of particles visible in the air, esp of smoke or dust
a large number of insects or other small animals in flight
something that darkens, threatens, or carries gloom
(jewellery) a cloudlike blemish in a transparent stone
(modifier) of or relating to cloud computing: a cloud application
in the clouds, not in contact with reality
under a cloud
  1. under reproach or suspicion
  2. in a state of gloom or bad temper
(informal) on cloud nine, elated; very happy
when intr, often foll by over or up. to make or become cloudy, overcast, or indistinct
(transitive) to make obscure; darken
(transitive) to confuse or impair: emotion clouded his judgment
to make or become gloomy or depressed
(transitive) to place under or render liable to suspicion or disgrace
to render (liquids) milky or dull or (of liquids) to become milky or dull
to become or render mottled or variegated
Derived Forms
cloudless, adjective
cloudlessly, adverb
cloudlessness, noun
cloudlike, adjective
Word Origin
C13 (in the sense: a mass of vapour): from Old English clūd rock, hill; probably related to clod
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cloudlike



Old English clud "mass of rock, hill," related to clod. Metaphoric extension to "raincloud, mass of evaporated water in the sky" is attested by c.1200 based on similarity of cumulus clouds and rock masses. The usual Old English word for "cloud" was weolcan. In Middle English, skie also originally meant "cloud."

The four fundamental types of cloud classification (cirrus, cumulus, stratus, nimbus) were proposed by British amateur meteorologist Luke Howard (1772-1864) in 1802. Figuratively, as something that casts a shadow, from early 15c.; hence under a cloud (c.1500). In the clouds "removed from earthly things; obscure, fanciful, unreal" is from 1640s. Cloud-compeller translates (poetically) Greek nephelegereta, a Homeric epithet of Zeus.



early 15c., "overspread with clouds, cover, darken," from cloud (n.). From 1510s as "to render dim or obscure;" 1590s as "to overspread with gloom." Intransitive sense of "become cloudy" is from 1560s. Related: Clouded; clouding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cloudlike in Science

  1. A visible body of very fine water droplets or ice particles suspended in the atmosphere at altitudes ranging up to several miles above sea level. Clouds are formed when air that contains water vapor cools below the dew point.

  2. A distinguishable mass of particles or gas, such as the collection of gases and dust in a nebula.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for cloudlike


Related Terms

on cloud nine

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with cloudlike


In addition to the idioms beginning with cloud
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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