Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

nimbus

play
noun nim·bus \ˈnim-bəs\

Simple Definition of nimbus

  • : a circle of light

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of nimbus

plural nimbi play \-ˌbī, -ˌbē\ or nimbuses

  1. 1 a :  a luminous vapor, cloud, or atmosphere about a god or goddess when on earth b :  a cloud or atmosphere (as of romance) about a person or thing

  2. 2 :  an indication (as a circle) of radiant light or glory about the head of a drawn or sculptured divinity, saint, or sovereign

  3. 3 a :  a rain cloud b :  thunderhead; also :  cumulus 2

Examples of nimbus in a sentence

  1. <fans are inevitably disappointed when the nimbus of glamour about their favorite celebrity turns out to be an illusion>

  2. <the nimbi for the sculpted figures around the exterior of the church are simple disks about the saints' heads>



Illustration of nimbus

Origin of nimbus

Latin, rainstorm, cloud; probably akin to Latin nebula cloud — more at nebula


First Known Use: 1616

Other Mythology and Folklore Terms

Rhymes with nimbus


NIMBUS Defined for Kids

nimbus

play
noun nim·bus \ˈnim-bəs\

Definition of nimbus for Students

plural nimbi \-ˌbī\ or nimbuses

  1. :  a rain cloud





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up nimbus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

immature or lacking adult sophistication

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

oily angry prompt maudlin
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ