\ 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 often used before another nouncloud storage/backupcloud software


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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cloud


cloudlike \ ˈklau̇d-​ˌlīk How to pronounce cloudlike (audio) \ or cloud-like adjective
cloudlike swirls cloudlike chocolate mousse

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Winds will become a bit more northeasterly, which will just reinforce the cloud cover. Washington Post, "PM Update: Cloudy and cool conditions will prevail on Sunday," 21 Nov. 2020 Those are used for upper atmospheric and ionospheric research, including analyzing cloud cover and precipitation data. DÁnica Coto,, "Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope to close in blow to science," 19 Nov. 2020 Those are used for upper atmospheric and ionospheric research, including analyzing cloud cover and precipitation data. DÁnica Coto, Star Tribune, "Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope to close in blow to science," 19 Nov. 2020 The fog had reduced visibility in the Sacramento Valley area to about a quarter-mile as moisture from Friday rainfall evaporated into low cloud cover, according to FOX 40. Dom Calicchio, Fox News, "California multi-vehicle crash on Highway 99 leaves at least 3 dead; fog a factor: reports," 15 Nov. 2020 Monday morning weather is starting off with extensive cloud-cover along with some fog and drizzle. Dallas News, "Clouds, drizzle to start the day, then afternoon sunshine," 9 Nov. 2020 Gleason attributed the warming trend to a persistent ridge of high pressure across the Western U.S. that allowed for scant cloud cover, little to no rainfall and plenty of sunshine. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, "California sizzled with three straight months of record heat and raging fires," 7 Nov. 2020 That cloud cover doesn’t mean rain, though — there’s no precipitation of any kind in the five-day forecast. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas,, "With Chicago’s Wednesday high temperature in the 70s, will the warm weather last?," 4 Nov. 2020 This will create cloud cover and keep temperatures below the mid-70s for the rest of the day. Jay R. Jordan, Chron, "Stalled cold front leaves stark divide in Houston temperatures," 27 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mark Levitt, an attorney who represents current Superintendent Diane Gullett, told the board Gullett agrees with her predecessor’s decision and Hickman’s military service should not cloud their judgment., "Marion County School Board fires Marine vet over medical marijuana use," 5 Nov. 2020 However, their preference should not cloud a music review. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Feedback: White privilege in art museums runs deep," 1 Nov. 2020 Wray, who served as Madison police chief from 2004 to 2013 and is Black, was heralded as a fair yet tough arbitrator who would not allow prejudice to cloud his judgement. NBC News, "Police reform expert to review Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha," 23 Sep. 2020 Using drugs or alcohol that might cloud your judgment, leading you to take part in risky activities. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "These Are the 5 Riskiest Thanksgiving Activities Amid COVID-19, According to the CDC," 29 Oct. 2020 Using alcohol or drugs can cloud judgment and increase careless behavior as well, the CDC said. Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN, "CDC Thanksgiving guidelines: How to stay safe and coronavirus-free over the holiday," 16 Oct. 2020 Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors. Mary Colurso |, al, "Halloween 2020: CDC tips to help you celebrate safely during coronavirus," 9 Oct. 2020 More on Tigers: To further cloud the forecast, the team could impose an innings limit next season. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers now at crossroads after some bright spots in 2020: 'Rebuild is almost over'," 28 Sep. 2020 In 2017, in Senate hearings on her nomination to a federal appeals court, Barrett underwent some aggressive questioning about whether her Catholic faith would cloud her legal judgments. David Crary, Star Tribune, "If Barrett joins, Supreme Court would have six Catholics," 26 Sep. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cloud

Time Traveler for cloud

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for cloud

Last Updated

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cloud.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!