verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- in a condition of absent-mindedness; lost in reverie.
- impractical: Their schemes are usually up in the clouds.
Origin of cloud
Synonyms for cloud
Related Words for under a cloudshadowy, shaded, leafy, cloudy, dusky, sheltered, screened, dim, cool, shadowed, indistinct, vague, umbrageous, adumbral, bosky, chiaroscuro
- under reproach or suspicion
- in a state of gloom or bad temper
Word Origin for cloud
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.
under a cloud
Under suspicion, in trouble, or out of favor, as in Ever since his brother was accused of fraud, he's been under a cloud. This metaphoric expression calls up the image of a single black cloud hanging over an individual. [c. 1500]
In addition to the idioms beginning with cloud
- cloud over
- head in the clouds
- on cloud nine
- silver lining, every cloud has
- under a cloud