noun, often attributive
\ˈklau̇d \

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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Synonyms & Antonyms for cloud

Synonyms: Noun

darkness, pall, shadow

Synonyms: Verb

becloud, befog, blur, confuse, fog, muddy, obfuscate

Antonyms: Verb

clarify, clear (up), illuminate

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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

Our partners and customers will be able to grow the content, applications, and clouds that serve individuals, homes, and organizations. The Economist, "Ceasefires in South Sudan seldom last," 5 July 2018 Then cold temperatures caused the center of the cloud to collapse, forming the sun. Sarah Kaplan,, "Many asteroids might be remnants of 5 destroyed worlds, scientists say," 3 July 2018 Partners for Prosperity is part of a cloud of controversy that’s kicked up since Reed left office in January. J. Scott Trubey, ajc, "Kasim Reed’s South Africa trip probe restarts after concerns about cost," 3 July 2018 The consequence of the collisions is that electrons get knocked off the crystals and join the pellets, and so the negative electric charge that all electrons carry starts to accumulate at the bottom of the cloud. Helen Czerski, WSJ, "A Crash Course in Summer Thunderstorms," 27 June 2018 Then, the air needs to be still for a few days, and the sky needs to be perfectly clear, without a wisp of a cloud or a shimmer of diamond dust above the ice sheet. National Geographic, "Coldest Place on Earth Found—Here's How," 27 June 2018 The increasing use of the cloud for video streaming is a major factor driving the need for ever more capacious data centers, as is the rise of bitcoin mining. Feargus O'sullivan, WIRED, "Denmark's Carbon Footprint Is Set to Balloon—Blame Big Tech," 26 June 2018 So Heimlich in essence has both admitted and denied it, part of the cloud that lurks over the whole scene. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "The Royals are considering trying to sign Luke Heimlich. Here's why they shouldn't," 25 June 2018 From above, Scatter saw the impacts as orange glows through an undercast of cloud. William Langewiesche, The Atlantic, "An Extraordinarily Expensive Way to Fight ISIS," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Related stories from Sacramento Bee Get to know the candidates for California governor Newsom, Cox, likely to advance in California governor's race, poll says Don’t let charter schools cloud the race for Brown’s successor. Angela Hart, sacbee, "She's not on the ballot, but this woman could be 'front and center' in the governor's office," 31 May 2018 Smaller firms risk being too reliant on a few large clients, which may cloud their judgment. The Economist, "Reforming the Big Four," 24 May 2018 The panels work with sunlight directly, so when there’s clouds their performance is reduced. Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Solar panels help power new Ikea store in Oak Creek," 13 July 2018 But much like his mentor and patron, Ailes, Shine's long tenure was clouded by unsavory allegations and associations with darker chapters in the network's history. Paul Farhi And Felicia Sonmez,, "Former Fox News executive Bill Shine joins Trump White House as deputy chief of staff for communications," 5 July 2018 Home to a population of about 472,506 residents, 22.4 percent of whom live below the poverty line, Atlanta’s substantial economic and population booms in recent years have been clouded by the city’s high violent crime rate. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "Ouch: Two Georgia cities among America’s 50 worst, report says," 13 June 2018 The Justice Department’s deliberations and subsequent decision to file a lawsuit on the AT&T deal have been clouded by Mr. Trump’s pledge as a presidential candidate to block the deal if elected. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "DOJ Tells Lawmakers There Was No Known Contact With Michael Cohen on AT&T-Time Warner Deal," 8 June 2018 Proposition 13’s immediate impact is somewhat clouded by prospective constitutional language challenges and other legal maneuvers., "June 7, 1978: Prop. 13 tax cut passes," 7 June 2018 Mikaela Mayer's vision to become a pioneer in fighting was clouded by some dubious judging in the Olympics. Lance Pugmire,, "Despite Olympic disappointment, Mikaela Mayer is determined to build interest in women's boxing," 9 Mar. 2018

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

18 Oct 2018

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 \

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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