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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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

Relentless clouds arise from a burning city in a dramatic film projected onto an enormous wall near the end of the exhibition. Richard Cork, WSJ, "A Conqueror With a Taste for Art," 24 Nov. 2018 The results of these and other changes have had a tangible impact on US cloud services companies. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "The Snowden Legacy, part one: What’s changed, really?," 21 Nov. 2018 The bottom layer—where those of us who don't live in cloud cities spend most of our time—is called the troposphere. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "A Group of Scientists Want to Launch a Satellite to Make an Artificial Aurora," 29 Oct. 2018 Around the time the couple were starting to be spotted together more frequently, fans noticed that the pair appeared to have gotten matching cloud tattoos. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s Matching Tattoos: A Complete Guide," 15 Oct. 2018 YouTube stars Nicole Guerriero and NikkieTutorials have even hopped on the cloud eye makeup trend. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Cloud Eye Makeup: How to Try the Viral Trend Taking Over Instagram," 31 Aug. 2018 Filtered sunshine this morning before clouds increase through the day. Elise Takahama,, "Scattered showers will hit Boston this weekend, along with increasing clouds and humidity," 14 July 2018 As translated from Norwegian by Martin Aitken, Love is a compelling, spare novel; an anxious mood hangs over Vibeke and Jon’s story like a thin, cold cloud. Constance Grady, Vox, "We read all 25 National Book Award finalists for 2018. Here’s what we thought.," 12 Nov. 2018 There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the water was glistening like a million tiny emeralds. Marie Claire, "Jessie Reyez Tells Us Why She Loves Mount Shasta, CA," 19 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

His expressions change like the light on a partly sunny day, going bright with joy then clouding over with gloom, then breaking through with streaks of hope. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "What Littleton Learned," 1 Aug. 2018 By delaying the trophy presentation, leaving Croatia's despondent players waiting even longer to depart the field, the storm clouds gathered. Rob Harris, Fox News, "No refuge from politics but France victory a fitting climax," 15 July 2018 But below, Meche’s aluminum boat waded through waterways clouded by brown dirt and black soot. Vaughn Hillyard /, NBC News, "Louisiana fisherman wait for help from Trump administration," 23 June 2018 In another work, Indigo, the anonymous subject’s eyes are clouded by steam. Mary Dellas, The Cut, "Marilyn Minter’s New Works Will Show in Los Angeles," 15 May 2018 The water in the main lake is clear, and the reaction bite will improve if the water clouds up. sacbee, "Fishing line: Steelhead action improves on American River | The Sacramento Bee," 29 Jan. 2018 Those experiences partly cloud their views of the U.S. and Russia. James T. Areddy, WSJ, "Trophy Infrastructure, Troublesome Debt: China Makes Inroads in Europe," 5 Nov. 2018 This transfer was clouded in surrealism for everybody associated with the south London club., "Yohan Cabaye's Time at Crystal Palace Was Underappreciated, But His Arrival Was a Landmark Moment," 5 July 2018 And yet, after years of reliable growth, the industry’s short-term prospects are clouded. David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, "Solar jobs drop in California, after years of growth," 7 Feb. 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

29 Nov 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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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

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


to enclose within walls

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