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

As countries continue to move ahead with developing their 5G networks -- which will provide faster speeds, faster connections and faster access to the cloud, empowering technologies such as self-driving cars and smart cities -- a divide is growing. James Griffiths, CNN, "A world divided by 5G: Russia's Huawei deal is the latest sign of an emerging internet iron curtain," 7 June 2019 In a chaotic attempt to stop people from accessing Telegram, Roskomnadzor blocked over 15 million Internet addresses associated with Google and Amazon’s cloud services, causing widespread collateral damage to those companies’ Russian business users. David Meyer, Fortune, "Russia's Latest Internet Crackdown Targets Tools for Avoiding Online Censorship," 7 June 2019 Further, the existing feature that synced users' non-iTunes files to the cloud will continue to work, and of course, users will still be able to buy songs from Apple. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Answers to some of your iTunes questions: Old libraries, Windows, and more," 3 June 2019 Using the processing power on users’ HomePods, iPads, and other Apple devices laying around the home, connected security cameras can now connect to Apple’s secure video software to ensure personal videos aren’t sent to the cloud to be processed. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "Everything Apple announced at its WWDC 2019 developer conference," 3 June 2019 The two competing ideas—ejecting the black boxes during a crash (complete with tracking sensor) or streaming their contents to the cloud—are now the center of a competition to see who can build the next-generation black box. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Why We Need a New Black Box," 7 May 2019 Three years ago, people were saying that everything’s going to the public cloud. New York Times, "Dell to Return to Public Markets With Tracking Stock," 2 July 2018 Now, the homepage is a giant clock counting down to April 26, complete with a background of pink clouds against what appears to be a blue sky. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Taylor Swift's Website Now Has a Countdown—and Fans Think New Music Is Coming Soon," 13 Apr. 2019 Last night, the actress turned heads at the show's Season 8 premiere in New York City wearing a stunning silk gown by Iris van Herpen featuring a dreamy pattern of gold and purple clouds. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gwendoline Christie Looked Like a Goddess at the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premiere," 4 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After sundown, tear gas and flares clouded the streets of Tirana. Fox News, "Albania president cancels elections, citing tense climate," 9 June 2019 The global debt burden clouded the IMF’s otherwise upbeat outlook of the world economy, which is in its strongest upswing since 2011., "Protectionism and Debt Are Biggest Threats to World Economy, EU Says," 20 Apr. 2018 Sometimes, the lines can get pretty blurry and ~love~ can definitely cloud your judgment. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "Are You Just Dating or in a Relationship?," 15 Mar. 2019 Uncertainty over the costly trade dispute between the world’s largest economies has clouded the outlook for company profits. Alex Veiga, The Seattle Times, "US stocks edge higher in early trading, extending gains," 20 Feb. 2019 The dispute has clouded the government's future at a time when the three parties face major challenges in upcoming state elections, in Seehofer's home state of Bavaria on Oct. 14 and in neighboring Hesse on Oct. 28. Geir Moulson, Fox News, "German government reaches deal to solve spy chief dispute," 24 Sep. 2018 The company’s successful turnaround has been clouded by an ongoing series of regulatory issues. Chester Dawson, WSJ, "Fiat Chrysler Taps Jeep Head as New CEO to Replace Ailing Marchionne," 21 July 2018 Unfortunately, the entire experience has been clouded by a cheap political stunt. Michael Schwartz And James Masters, CNN, "David Friedman photograph sparks Jerusalem controversy," 23 May 2018 Since Trump nominated Haspel, her confirmation has been clouded by debate over the CIA's former interrogation program. Deb Riechmann And Lisa Mascaro, Fox News, "Gina Haspel confirmed as new CIA director," 17 May 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

14 Jun 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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having a desire to acquire more things

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