Other forms: clouds; clouded; clouding

A cloud is a clump of water vapor that you can see in the sky. Clouds are sometimes white and puffy, and other times so big and gray that they completely block the sun.

Clouds form when air rises and cools and the moisture in it condenses into a visible form. Any similar billowy mass is also a cloud, like a cloud of smoke over your campfire or a cloud of dust after your car peels out of the driveway. If you're gloomy or morose, someone might say there's a cloud over you — a figurative cloud of sadness. On the other hand, if you're "on cloud nine," you couldn't be happier.

Definitions of cloud
  1. noun
    a visible mass of water or ice particles suspended at a considerable altitude
    see moresee less
    show 16 types...
    hide 16 types...
    cirrocumulus, cirrocumulus cloud
    a cloud at a high altitude consisting of a series of regularly arranged small clouds resembling ripples
    cirrostratus, cirrostratus cloud
    a thin uniform layer of hazy cloud at high altitude
    cirrus, cirrus cloud
    a wispy white cloud (usually of fine ice crystals) at a high altitude (4 to 8 miles)
    cloud bank
    a layer of clouds seen from a distance
    condensation trail, contrail
    an artificial cloud created by an aircraft; caused either by condensation due to the reduction in air pressure above the wing surface or by water vapor in the engine exhaust
    cumulonimbus, cumulonimbus cloud, thundercloud
    a dark cloud of great vertical extent charged with electricity; associated with thunderstorms
    cumulus, cumulus cloud
    a globular cloud
    mother-of-pearl cloud, nacreous cloud
    a luminous iridescent cloud at a high altitude that may be seen when the sun is a few degrees below the horizon
    a small cloud
    nimbus, nimbus cloud, rain cloud
    a dark grey cloud bearing rain
    storm cloud
    a heavy dark cloud presaging rain or a storm
    stratus, stratus cloud
    a large dark low cloud
    altocumulus, altocumulus cloud
    a cumulus cloud at an intermediate altitude of 2 or 3 miles
    altostratus, altostratus cloud
    a stratus cloud at an intermediate altitude of 2 or 3 miles
    mare's tail
    a long narrow flowing cirrus cloud
    a rounded projecting mass of a cumulus cloud with shining edges; often appears before a thunderstorm
    type of:
    atmospheric phenomenon
    a physical phenomenon associated with the atmosphere
  2. noun
    any collection of particles (e.g., smoke or dust) or gases that is visible
    see moresee less
    show 11 types...
    hide 11 types...
    (astronomy) the luminous cloud of particles surrounding the frozen nucleus of a comet; forms as the comet approaches the sun and is warmed
    an immense cloud of gas (mainly hydrogen) and dust in interstellar space
    a cloud of solid or liquid particles in a gas
    cosmic dust
    clouds of particles or gases occurring throughout interstellar space
    dust cloud
    a cloud of dust suspended in the air
    mushroom, mushroom cloud, mushroom-shaped cloud
    a large cloud of rubble and dust shaped like a mushroom and rising into the sky after an explosion (especially of a nuclear bomb)
    diffuse nebula, gaseous nebula
    a cluster of stars within an intricate cloud of gas and dust
    planetary nebula
    a nebula that was once thought to be a star with its planets but is now thought to be a very hot star surrounded by an expanding envelope of ionized gases that emit a fluorescent glow because of intense radiation from the star
    droplets of water vapor suspended in the air near the ground
    atmospheric moisture or dust or smoke that causes reduced visibility
    fume, smoke
    a cloud of fine particles suspended in a gas
    type of:
    physical phenomenon
    a natural phenomenon involving the physical properties of matter and energy
  3. noun
    a group of many things in the air or on the ground
    clouds of blossoms”
    “it discharged a cloud of spores”
    synonyms: swarm
    see moresee less
    infestation, plague
    a swarm of insects that attack plants
    type of:
    group, grouping
    any number of entities (members) considered as a unit
  4. verb
    make overcast or cloudy
    synonyms: overcast
    see moresee less
    brighten, clear, clear up, light up
    become clear
    fog up
    get foggy
    become hazy, dull, or cloudy
    type of:
    make dark or darker
  5. verb
    make milky or dull
    “The chemical clouded the liquid to which it was added”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    make less lively or vigorous
  6. verb
    billow up in the form of a cloud
    “The smoke clouded above the houses”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    billow, wallow
    rise up as if in waves
  7. verb
    make less visible or unclear
    “The stars are obscured by the clouds
    synonyms: becloud, befog, fog, haze over, mist, obnubilate, obscure
    see moresee less
    cast a shadow upon
    eclipse, occult
    cause an eclipse of (a celestial body) by intervention
    type of:
    conceal, hide
    prevent from being seen or discovered
  8. verb
    make less clear
    “the stroke clouded memories of her youth”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  9. verb
    color with streaks or blotches of different shades
    synonyms: dapple, mottle
    see moresee less
    variegate with spots or marks
    speckle, stipple
    produce a mottled effect
    type of:
    mark with a spot or spots so as to allow easy recognition
  10. noun
    out of touch with reality
    “his head was in the clouds
    see moresee less
    type of:
    irreality, unreality
    the state of being insubstantial or imaginary; not existing objectively or in fact
  11. noun
    a cause of worry or gloom or trouble
    “the only cloud on the horizon was the possibility of dissent by the French”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    gloom, gloominess, glumness
    an atmosphere of depression and melancholy
  12. noun
    suspicion affecting your reputation
    “after that mistake he was under a cloud
    see moresee less
    type of:
    the state of being suspected
  13. verb
    make gloomy or depressed
    “Their faces were clouded with sadness”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    affect, impress, move, strike
    have an emotional or cognitive impact upon
  14. verb
    place under suspicion or cast doubt upon
    synonyms: corrupt, defile, pollute, sully, taint, tarnish
    see moresee less
    type of:
    deflower, impair, mar, spoil, vitiate
    make imperfect




Cite this entry
  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago

Copy citation
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘cloud'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up cloud for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer