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[nim-buh s]
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noun, plural nim·bi [nim-buh bahy] /ˈnɪm bəbaɪ/, nim·bus·es.
  1. Classical Mythology. a shining cloud sometimes surrounding a deity when on earth.
  2. a cloud, aura, atmosphere, etc., surrounding a person or thing: The candidate was encompassed with a nimbus of fame.
  3. halo(def 1).
  4. the type of dense clouds or cloud mass with ragged edges, that yields rain or snow; a rain cloud.
  5. (initial capital letter) U.S. Aerospace. one of a series of polar-orbiting meteorological and environmental research satellites, the last of which Nimbus 7, launched 1978, was the first satellite designed to monitor atmospheric pollutants.

Origin of nimbus

1610–20; < Latin: a rainstorm, rain cloud, thundercloud, cloud; akin to Latin nebula and Greek nephélē, néphos cloud
Related formsnim·bused, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nimbi

Historical Examples

  • They and their emblems are painted; the nimbi and the ribs of the shells are gilded.

    The Shores of the Adriatic

    F. Hamilton Jackson

  • I have printed nimbiferi in preference to nubiferi because Jupiter is linked with nimbi at two other passages.

  • Each have nimbi of a blue colour, surmounted by crosses, with globular extremities.

British Dictionary definitions for nimbi


noun plural -bi (-baɪ) or -buses
    1. a dark grey rain-bearing cloud
    2. (in combination)cumulonimbus clouds
    1. an emanation of light surrounding a saint or deity
    2. a representation of this emanation
  1. a surrounding aura or atmosphere
Derived Formsnimbused, adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin: cloud, radiance
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

Word Origin and History for nimbi



1610s, "bright cloud surrounding a god," from Latin nimbus "cloud," perhaps related to nebula "cloud, mist" (see nebula). Meaning "halo" is first recorded c.1730. Meteorological sense of "a rain cloud" is from 1803.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nimbi in Science


Plural nimbi (nĭmbī′) nimbuses
  1. A rain cloud.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.