See more synonyms for cloud on
  1. a visible collection of particles of water or ice suspended in the air, usually at an elevation above the earth's surface.
  2. any similar mass, especially of smoke or dust.
  3. a dim or obscure area in something otherwise clear or transparent.
  4. a patch or spot differing in color from the surrounding surface.
  5. anything that obscures or darkens something, or causes gloom, trouble, suspicion, disgrace, etc.
  6. a great number of insects, birds, etc., flying together: a cloud of locusts obscuring the sun.
  7. 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.
  1. of or relating to cloud computing: cloud software; cloud servers.
  2. relating to or doing business on the Internet: Google and other cloud companies.
verb (used with object)
  1. to overspread or cover with, or as with, a cloud or clouds: The smoke from the fire clouded the sun from view.
  2. to overshadow; obscure; darken: The hardships of war cloud his childhood memories.
  3. to make gloomy.
  4. (of distress, anxiety, etc.) to reveal itself in (a part of one's face): Worry clouded his brow.
  5. to make obscure or indistinct; confuse: Don't cloud the issue with unnecessary details.
  6. to place under suspicion, disgrace, etc.
  7. to variegate with patches of another color.
verb (used without object)
  1. to grow cloudy; become clouded.
  2. (of a part of one's face) to reveal one's distress, anxiety, etc.: His brow clouded with anger.
  1. in the clouds,
    1. in a condition of absent-mindedness; lost in reverie.
    2. impractical: Their schemes are usually up in the clouds.
  2. on a cloud, Informal. exceedingly happy; in high spirits: On the night of the prom the seniors were on a cloud.
  3. 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 formscloud·like, adjectivein·ter·cloud, verb (used with object)

Synonyms for cloud

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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.

Clouds, The

  1. a comedy (423 b.c.) by Aristophanes. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clouds

Contemporary Examples of clouds

Historical Examples of clouds

British Dictionary definitions for clouds


  1. a mass of water or ice particles visible in the sky, usually white or grey, from which rain or snow falls when the particles coagulateSee also cirrus, cumulonimbus, cumulus, stratus
  2. any collection of particles visible in the air, esp of smoke or dust
  3. a large number of insects or other small animals in flight
  4. something that darkens, threatens, or carries gloom
  5. jewellery a cloudlike blemish in a transparent stone
  6. (modifier) of or relating to cloud computinga cloud application
  7. in the clouds not in contact with reality
  8. under a cloud
    1. under reproach or suspicion
    2. in a state of gloom or bad temper
  9. on cloud nine informal elated; very happy
  1. (when intr, often foll by over or up) to make or become cloudy, overcast, or indistinct
  2. (tr) to make obscure; darken
  3. (tr) to confuse or impairemotion clouded his judgment
  4. to make or become gloomy or depressed
  5. (tr) to place under or render liable to suspicion or disgrace
  6. to render (liquids) milky or dull or (of liquids) to become milky or dull
  7. to become or render mottled or variegated
Derived Formscloudless, adjectivecloudlessly, adverbcloudlessness, nouncloudlike, adjective

Word Origin for cloud

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

Word Origin and History for clouds



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

clouds 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

clouds in Culture


Particles of water or ice suspended in the air. (See cirrus clouds, cumulus clouds, nimbus clouds, and stratus clouds.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with clouds


In addition to the idioms beginning with cloud

  • cloud over

also see:

  • head in the clouds
  • on cloud nine
  • silver lining, every cloud has
  • under a cloud
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.