noun, often attributive
\ 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


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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Examples of cloud in a Sentence


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.


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

Providence, which operates hospitals in seven states, will shift data and applications from its own data centers to Microsoft’s cloud as part of the five-year agreement. Washington Post, "Microsoft, hospital chain reach cloud deal," 9 July 2019 However, the cloud could become a bigger security risk in years to come. Madeline Purdue, USA TODAY, "These three things make your business an easy target for a cyber attack," 9 July 2019 The move of servers to the cloud were already considered in the next year’s budget, but will be accelerated with the move, Brown said. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Liberty County tax office loading up, moving out," 8 July 2019 The clouds are made up of methane, ammonia and sulfur compounds. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, "Sky Watch: Jupiter and its many moons put on a show this week," 7 July 2019 As the clouds darkened over the track at the start of the third stage, drivers picked up the intensity and started racing as if the event would end at the first drop of rain. Jenna Fryer,, "Justin Haley drives away with first career win in rain-shortened race at Daytona," 7 July 2019 There’d be a painting showing a ship ascending into the clouds and a plaque describing the treacherous journey there. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Elon Musk wanted The Onion; he got Thud," 2 July 2019 To me, the idea of being connected in real time to the cloud sounds amazing. Zoltan Istvan, Quartz, "In 15 years we’ll be able to upload education to our brains. So can I stop saving for my kids’ college?," 1 July 2019 Stadia focuses on games that can be streamed from the cloud and don’t require expensive new hardware. Takashi Mochizuki, WSJ, "Sony Positions Next PlayStation for Hard-Core Gamers," 29 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Not only are the tie-dye pieces cloud puff soft, the sweaters and tanks are dyed so that the colors maintain their vibrancy (even after a few washes). Teen Vogue, "This Celeb-Approved Brand Is Releasing The Ultimate Tie-Dye Collection," 9 July 2019 The Malaspina wildfire started at the address of a 400-square foot cabin on South Malaspina Loop Road at 3:30 p.m., quickly igniting in stands of black spruce and sending a billowing smoke cloud high into the air. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Mandatory evacuations lifted for upstart wildfire near Talkeetna," 8 July 2019 Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has contacted the agent of Romelu Lukaku to discuss the Manchester United striker's future prospects with uncertainty still clouding his future., "Napoli President Contacts Romelu Lukaku's Agent to Discuss Striker's 'Future Prospects'," 5 July 2019 Celebrities garner enormous platforms, often clouding the truth (or drowning it completely); the deal between Netflix and Gwyneth Paltrow, whose company Goop was sued over a certain jade egg, suggests that science is losing the battle. The Conversation, "Confused about what to eat? Science can help," 5 July 2019 Also related to the aging process, a cataract clouds the lens of the eye. Beth Wood, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Protect your eyes for life with healthy diet, sun shielding," 24 June 2019 No, the true audience for Euphoria is parents of kids who are about 5-to-10 years old, who still have relatively good relationships with those kids but can see the storm clouds on the horizon. Emily Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "HBO’s Euphoria is two shows in one. One is bad. The other could be good.," 23 June 2019 People miles away could see the blaze, and those close to it said debris clouded the early morning sky. Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, "Billowing fire, explosions at oil refinery shake South Philadelphia," 21 June 2019 In September 2018, Vickery discovered that a publicly accessible bucket of North Carolina State Board of Elections files were sitting in the Amazon Web Services cloud. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "Mitch McConnell is Making the 2020 Election Open Season for Hackers," 12 June 2019

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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Learn More about cloud

Dictionary Entries near cloud






cloud band

cloud banner

Statistics for cloud

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cloud

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on cloud

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cloud

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cloud

Spanish Central: Translation of cloud

Nglish: Translation of cloud for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cloud for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cloud

Comments on cloud

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