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cloud nine

SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR cloud nine ON THESAURUS.COM

noun Informal.

a state of perfect happiness (usually in the phrase on cloud nine).

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RELATED WORDS

bliss, heaven, paradise, blissfulness

Nearby words

cloud ear, cloud eggs, cloud forest, cloud grass, cloud layer, cloud nine, cloud over, cloud peak, cloud physics, cloud rack, cloud seeding

Origin of cloud nine

First recorded in 1955–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Word Origin and History for cloud nine

cloud nine


n.

by 1950, sometimes also cloud seven (1956, perhaps by confusion with seventh heaven), American English, of uncertain origin or significance. Some connect the phrase with the 1895 International Cloud-Atlas (Hildebrandsson, Riggenbach and Teisserenc de Bort), long the basic source for cloud shapes, in which, of the ten cloud types, cloud No. 9, cumulonimbus, was the biggest, puffiest, most comfortable-looking. Shipley suggests the sense in this and other expressions might be because, "As the largest one-figure integer, nine is sometimes used for emphasis." The phrase might appear in the 1935 aviation-based play "Ceiling Zero" by Frank Wilbur Wead.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper