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Blech. These are the grossest words.


or thunderclouds

[thuhn-der-kloud] /ˈθʌn dərˌklaʊd/
Origin of thundercloud
1690-1700; thunder + cloud


[kyoo-myuh-loh-nim-buh s] /ˌkyu myə loʊˈnɪm bəs/
noun, plural cumulonimbus.
a cloud of a class indicative of thunderstorm conditions, characterized by large, dense towers that often reach altitudes of 30,000 feet (9000 meters) or more, cumuliform except for their tops, which appear fibrous because of the presence of ice crystals: occurs as a single cloud or as a group with merged bases and separate tops.
Also called thundercloud, thunderclouds, thunderhead.
1885-90; cumulo- + nimbus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for thunderclouds
Historical Examples
  • thunderclouds festooned the usually mild forehead of Mr. Pottle next morning.

  • She looked at David's eyes, the color of the thunderclouds outside.

  • And the modern world of moods is a world of clouds, even if some of them are thunderclouds.

    What I Saw in America G. K. Chesterton
  • Goil had thunderclouds ready to burst hanging around his head.

    Jack of No Trades Charles Cottrell
  • The thunderclouds had gathered in the blackest masses above the Frauenthor and the Ortlieb mansion.

  • They were like thunderclouds charged with blasting lightnings.

    Carette of Sark John Oxenham
  • Mr. Cardew looked at her steadfastly, scrutinisingly, but her eyes were on the thunderclouds, and the lily fell faster and faster.

    Catharine Furze Mark Rutherford
  • Besides, the atmosphere was sultry, and the scorching sun struggled with the thunderclouds gathering in heavy masses at the north.

    Joshua, Complete Georg Ebers
  • At the same time, wherever he arrives the thunderclouds gather.

    The Double Four E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • A bank of thunderclouds lowered heavily above the mountain, and the close, dusty streets were silent, and nearly deserted.

    Roughing it in the Bush Susanna Moodie
British Dictionary definitions for thunderclouds


noun (pl) -bi (-baɪ), -buses
(meteorol) a cumulus cloud of great vertical extent, the top often forming an anvil shape and the bottom being dark coloured, indicating rain or hail: associated with thunderstorms


a towering electrically charged cumulonimbus cloud associated with thunderstorms
anything that is threatening
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 thunderclouds



1887, from cumulo-, comb. form of cumulus, + nimbus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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thunderclouds in Science
See cumulonimbus.
Plural cumulonimbi (kym'yə-lō-nĭm'bī)
An extremely dense, vertically developed cloud with a low, dark base and fluffy masses that tower to great heights. Cumulonimbus clouds usually produce heavy rains, thunderstorms, or hailstorms. Also called thundercloud. See illustration at cloud.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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