[nim-boh-strey-tuh s, -strat-uh s]

noun, plural nim·bo·stra·tus.

a cloud of a class characterized by a formless layer that is almost uniformly dark gray; a rain cloud of the layer type, of low altitude, usually below 8000 feet (2440 meters).

Origin of nimbostratus

First recorded in 1885–90; nimbo- + stratus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for nimbostratus


noun plural -ti (-taɪ)

a dark-coloured rain-bearing stratus cloud
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 nimbostratus

1932 (earlier use from late 19c. refers to different cloud types), from Modern Latin nimbus (see nimbus) + connecting element -o- + stratus (see stratus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nimbostratus in Science



Plural nimbostrati (nĭm′bō-strătī′)

A dark, gray, mid-altitude cloud that often covers the entire sky and precipitates rain, snow, or sleet. Nimbostratus clouds generally form around 2,000 m (6,560 ft) but often extend to much higher and lower altitudes. See illustration at cloud.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.