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

The first weekend of August will bring sunny skies and highs in the 90s to the Portland metro area, as Friday’s cloud cover gives way to drier conditions., "Portland metro Saturday weather: August opens with hot, sunny weekend," 3 Aug. 2019 The sun peeked through bluish-gray clouds, and the aspen leaves were a brilliant shade of gold. Brad Dokken, The Know, "Losing a fish is a familiar agony for anglers everywhere," 31 July 2019 Cloud advocate Capital One has been one of the most vocal advocates for using cloud services among banks. Los Angeles Times, "Tipster’s email led to arrest in massive Capital One breach," 30 July 2019 The system is cloud-based, meaning that officers have access to it in their patrol vehicles or through a smartphone, for example. Catalina Righter,, "Records room update latest in Westminster Police modernizations," 21 July 2019 Celestial clouds and planets hide a sun’s beams in the sky of the poster, and some futuristic buildings loom in the far distance. Ashley Boucher,, "Patrick Stewart Gets a Dog in New Star Trek: Picard Poster Released Ahead of Comic-Con Panel," 10 July 2019 There, away from light pollution and relatively safe from the threat of cloud cover, the total eclipse will begin at 4:39 pm local time, a little more than an hour before sunset. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Tuesday’s total solar eclipse: how to watch," 2 July 2019 Wisps of vapor rise from the land back to the sky to make new clouds and fresh showers, forming a cycle that mirrors that of Earth’s. Shannon Stirone, Scientific American, "New NASA Mission Will Fly Titan’s Frigid Skies to Search for Life’s Beginnings," 27 June 2019 Sometimes, as with D Day, visibility was important; at other times, cloud cover and fog could help conceal a position. Hannah Fry, The New Yorker, "Why Weather Forecasting Keeps Getting Better," 24 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Here’s a picture of the storm clouds that hovered over downtown Cincinnati at the time of Tuesday’s practice change. Tyler Dragon,, "Bengals notebook: WR A.J. Green undergoes minor surgery. Same timetable to return," 30 July 2019 From foil blankets to cloud-computing storage and the face masks worn by agents to stifle the stench of unbathed people overcrowded in cages for 40 days, American companies are getting into the business of migration management. David Carroll, Quartz, "China embraces its surveillance state. The US pretends it doesn’t have one," 23 July 2019 What is true for Microsoft is also true for the Google and Apple cloud solutions. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Office 365 declared illegal in German schools due to privacy risks," 15 July 2019 When asked last month whether Amazon’s cloud division works with ICE, Amazon Web Services Chief Executive Andy Jassy said the company doesn’t disclose the identities of customers who don’t give it permission to do so. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "Protesters Disrupt Amazon Event Over Its Ties With ICE," 11 July 2019 The kit allows him to monitor Flex’s 16,000 suppliers and 100-plus factories, producing everything from automotive systems to cloud-computing kit for over 1,000 customers worldwide. The Economist, "Global supply chainsSupply chains are undergoing a dramatic transformation," 11 July 2019 Images of the vehicle are then uploaded to the company’s Amazon Web Services cloud server and the data collected from the image becomes part of a searchable database. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Denver-area neighborhoods are installing license plate readers to record every vehicle that passes by," 9 July 2019 As storm clouds gathered outside, hundreds of friends and family members crowded into bleachers and folding chairs in Conard High School’s gymnasium Thursday evening to celebrate the graduation of the senior class. Emily Brindley,, "Conard grads told to seek outrage, laughter," 14 June 2019 The cloud has become so crucial to corporations' business strategies that cloud customers are beginning to build redundancy into their networks. Clare Duffy, CNN, "Why rivals Microsoft and Oracle are teaming up to take on Amazon," 13 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

9 Aug 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

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


not constant or steady

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