\ ˈklau̇d How to pronounce cloud (audio) \

Definition of cloud

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a visible mass of particles of condensed vapor (such as water or ice) suspended in the atmosphere of a planet (such as the earth) or moon
2 : something resembling or suggesting a cloud: such as
a : a light filmy, puffy, or billowy mass seeming to float in the air a cloud of blond hair a ship under a cloud of sail
b(1) : a usually visible mass of minute particles suspended in the air or a gas
(2) : an aggregation of usually obscuring matter especially in interstellar space
(3) : an aggregate of charged particles (such as electrons)
c : a great crowd or multitude : swarm clouds of mosquitoes
3 : something that has a dark, lowering, or threatening aspect clouds of war a cloud of suspicion
4 : something that obscures or blemishes a cloud of ambiguity
5 : a dark or opaque vein or spot (as in marble or a precious stone)
6 : the computers and connections that support cloud computing storing files in the cloud often used before another noun cloud storage/backupcloud software


clouded; clouding; clouds

Definition of cloud (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to grow cloudy usually used with over or up clouded over before the storm
2a of facial features : to become troubled, apprehensive, or distressed in appearance her face clouded with worry
b : to become blurry, dubious, or ominous often used with over the outlook is clouding over
3 : to billow up in the form of a cloud

transitive verb

1a : to envelop or hide with or as if with a cloud
b : to make opaque especially by condensation of moisture steam clouded the windows
c : to make murky especially with smoke or mist smoke clouded the sky
2 : to make unclear or confused cloud the issue
3 : taint, sully a clouded reputation
4 : to cast gloom over cloud prospects for success

Illustration of cloud

Illustration of cloud


cloud 1: 1 cirrus, 2 cirrostratus, 3 cirrocumulus, 4 altostratus, 5 altocumulus, 6 stratocumulus, 7 nimbostratus, 8 cumulus, 9 cumulonimbus, 10 stratus

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from cloud


cloudlike \ ˈklau̇d-​ˌlīk How to pronounce cloud (audio) \ or cloud-like adjective
cloudlike swirls cloudlike chocolate mousse

Examples of cloud in a Sentence

Noun The sun is shining and there's not a cloud in the sky. flying high above the clouds It stopped raining and the sun poked through the clouds. a cloud of cigarette smoke The team has been under a cloud since its members were caught cheating. There's a cloud of controversy hanging over the election. Verb greed clouding the minds of men These new ideas only cloud the issue further. The final years of her life were clouded by illness.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Oklahoma's numbers appear to be more in-cloud lightning, typically seen from a distance. Joe Mario Pedersen, Star Tribune, "Shocking! Florida loses U.S. lightning capital title," 30 Apr. 2021 Oklahoma’s numbers appear to be more in-cloud lightning; typically seen from a distance. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Shocking! Florida dethroned as US lightning capital; Central Florida counties still No. 1, study says," 30 Apr. 2021 The information is in the cloud, and everything is protected with strong encryption. Chris Smith, BGR, "This $30 a month browser wants to fix the worst thing about Chrome," 29 Apr. 2021 The software giant is now worth more than both Alphabet and, both of which generate more revenue and higher growth rates—and in the case of Amazon an even stronger position in the cloud. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Microsoft Can No Longer Fly Under the Radar," 28 Apr. 2021 Jerome Gaysse from Silinnov Consulting gave its outlook for computational storage in the cloud. Tom Coughlin, Forbes, "SNIA PM & CS Summit Advances And ISI SOT MRAM Tester," 27 Apr. 2021 Most large corporations run their email in the cloud. Brian Barrett, Wired, "The FBI Takes a Drastic Step to Fight China’s Hacking Spree," 14 Apr. 2021 What commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB did was the social equivalent of Jackie Robinson dancing off third, challenging the pitcher, then stealing home in a cloud of dust. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "This Jackie Robinson Day will be MLB's most important since the original," 14 Apr. 2021 The ash has blanketed the region, with winds pushing plumes into the Atlantic Ocean, and shrouding neighboring Barbados, 100 miles away, in a cloud of soot. Washington Post, "Satellite images show St. Vincent blanketed with volcanic ash as eruptions continue," 14 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Cataracts, which form a white film that cloud the eye's natural lens, commonly occur in older people but also sometimes affect children or young adults. Binaj Gurubacharya, Star Tribune, "Nepal's God of Sight eye doctor to expand work beyond border," 30 Apr. 2021 Ambient smells can cloud one’s perception; greater humidity amplifies scent. Noy Thrupkaew, Washington Post, "A Big Stink in the World of Perfume," 21 Apr. 2021 In the accounting scenario, profitability is the goal, and overreliance on benchmarking a utilization metric or a realization metric can cloud assessment of its profitability. David Mcguire, Forbes, "Benchmarking: The Good And The Bad," 12 Apr. 2021 The looming concerns are threatening to ripple worldwide and cloud the global rollout of a cheap and easy-to-store vaccine, one that remains many countries’ best hope for saving lives amid a widespread surge in coronavirus cases. New York Times, "Possible Side Effects of AstraZeneca Vaccine Come Into Sharper Focus," 6 Apr. 2021 Don’t let emotions cloud your thinking or affect issues that need to be dealt with in a rational manner. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for March 16, 2021: Leo, deal with issues rationally; Aquarius, think for yourself," 16 Mar. 2021 Far-reaching cyberattacks cloud the United States’ ability for strategic action. Washington Post, "How the U.S. and China could go to war," 9 Mar. 2021 Older machines may also cloud the glasses over time. Anthony Marcusa,, "The best chardonnay wine glass," 23 Feb. 2021 Minnesota health officials say that reporting delays cloud the true vaccine picture, noting that most of the highest priority health care workers have gotten at least one dose and that all 369 nursing homes have had their first doses delivered. Glenn Howatt, Star Tribune, "Minnesota pharmacies ask to be included in COVID-19 vaccine rollout," 20 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cloud.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cloud


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1562, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for cloud


Middle English, rock, cloud, from Old English clūd; perhaps akin to Greek gloutos buttock

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Time Traveler for cloud

Time Traveler

The first known use of cloud was in the 14th century

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Statistics for cloud

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cloud.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for cloud



English Language Learners Definition of cloud

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a white or gray mass in the sky that is made of many very small drops of water
: a large amount of smoke, dust, etc., that hangs in the air
: a large group of things (such as insects) that move together through the air



English Language Learners Definition of cloud (Entry 2 of 2)

: to confuse (a person's mind or judgment)
: to make (something, such as an issue or situation) difficult to understand
: to affect (something) in a bad way


\ ˈklau̇d How to pronounce cloud (audio) \

Kids Definition of cloud

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a visible mass of tiny bits of water or ice hanging in the air usually high above the earth
2 : a visible mass of small particles in the air a cloud of dust
3 : a large number of things that move together in a group a cloud of mosquitoes
4 : an overwhelming feeling The news cast a cloud of gloom.
5 : the computers and connections that support cloud computing

Other Words from cloud

cloudless \ -​ləs \ adjective


clouded; clouding

Kids Definition of cloud (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make or become cloudy The sky clouded up.
2 : to have a bad effect on Involvement in the crime clouded his future.
3 : to make confused Doubts clouded her judgment.

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