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 upclouded 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 overthe 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

Noun 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. Verb 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 After record-tying low temperatures Saturday morning in Bridgeport at 22 degrees and in Bakerville at 10 degrees, temperatures will moderate Sunday afternoon into the 40s and low 50s with a mixture of clouds and sunshine., "A break in the chill Sunday and Monday," 9 Nov. 2019 Though there will be clouds and cold, no precipitation is expected, according to the National Weather Service in Columbus. Hayden Grove, cleveland, "Cold, dry day on tap as Buckeyes host Maryland: Ohio State football weather forecast," 8 Nov. 2019 The sun is out muscling the clouds and Longchamp bubbles to easy beats as racegoers flood in. Rob Hodgetts At Longchamp, CNN, "48 hours in Paris among racing's beautiful people," 15 Oct. 2019 With that data as the foundation, the model produces estimates of moisture, temperature, winds, pressure, clouds and solar radiation. Charlie Brennan, The Denver Post, "Boulder scientists sharpen focus on past weather with eye to future," 13 Oct. 2019 The Air Force 45th Space Wing on Wednesday gave the launch only a 30 percent chance of favorable weather conditions with primary concerns of cumulus clouds and lightning for Wednesday. Richard Tribou,, "Dropped from an airplane, Pegasus rocket to launch NASA’s ICON satellite into space," 9 Oct. 2019 The second weather system is an area of clouds and showers to the east of the southeastern Bahamas. Tonya Alanez,, "National Hurricane Center watching two more tropical weather systems in Atlantic," 2 Oct. 2019 There are also signature cloud and eye motifs, reinvented with a Coach logo graphic, that signify ninja power. Ingrid Schmidt, The Hollywood Reporter, "Michael B. Jordan Talks New Unisex Fashion Line for Coach," 1 Oct. 2019 In an era of remote collaboration, software and documents sit in the cloud and offices could disperse to cheaper places. The Economist, "Even if WeWork is in trouble the office is still being reinvented," 28 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Trump allies have prpo The American intelligence community has concluded that Russia tried to sway the 2016 election in Trump's favor, a fact that has clouded Trump’s presidency. Donnelle Eller, USA TODAY, "Mike Pence backs release of transcripts of his calls with Ukraine," 9 Oct. 2019 Pedestrians cross First Street in Boyle Heights as clouds partially obscure the downtown L.A. skyline on March 6. Los Angeles Times, "The first rain of the season arrives in L.A. But don’t get too excited — it’s just a drizzle," 26 Sep. 2019 Completing the cast are Paul Breazeale as the cheerful young owner of the villa and Andrea Goss Knaub, a show swiper as the garrulous Italian servant who clouds her disdain by conversing solely in her native language. Daily Pilot, "On Theater: An “Enchanted” comedy in Newport," 24 Sep. 2019 That's likely due to the degree of dense breast tissue in women, Gao said, which can cloud the ability of the radiologist to detect abnormalities. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Male breast cancer screening in high-risk patients extremely successful, study says," 17 Sep. 2019 At a time when NRA spending is under scrutiny, tax experts say the payments to board members create potential conflicts of interest that could cloud the board’s independent monitoring of the organization’s finances. Beth Reinhard,, "NRA’s Marion Hammer took low-interest loan from affiliate she leads," 12 Sep. 2019 That future is clouded by a family split that has spilled into the public view. oregonlive, "Public access to Alpenrose ball fields, race tracks on shaky ground as dairy’s sale looms," 6 Sep. 2019 The decision-making process is also clouded by longstanding misconceptions — or myths — about how insurance works. NBC News, "7 things you should know about auto and car insurance," 4 Sep. 2019 China’s vision of profiting from the driverless economy is being clouded by intellectual property debates, as two Chinese suppliers of a key self-driving technology are accused of stealing IP from a Silicon Valley company. Echo Huang, Quartz, "The world’s leader in self-driving lidar technology is suing two Chinese companies over IP," 15 Aug. 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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Statistics for cloud

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for cloud

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

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More Definitions for cloud


How to pronounce cloud (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cloud

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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