cu·​mu·​lo·​nim·​bus | \ ˈkyü-myə-(ˌ)lō-ˈnim-bəs How to pronounce cumulonimbus (audio) \

Definition of cumulonimbus

: cumulus cloud having a low base and often spread out in the shape of an anvil extending to great heights — see cloud illustration

Examples of cumulonimbus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There was a very tall cloud — probably a cumulonimbus — that was building right along the horizon as the sun was setting. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "This strange shadow was seen in Maryland and Pennsylvania on Saturday," 20 June 2018 Towering cumulonimbus clouds made for magical sunsets, and the warm, yellow rays of sunshine generated rainbows that were seen across Northern Virginia and Montgomery County. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "Beautiful photos of our semi-stormy weekend," 25 June 2018 In mid-afternoon, the giant bubblers, the cumulonimbus clouds, can then build vertically thousands of feet into the sky. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Mountain thunder, lightning mean summer has arrived," 21 May 2018 Thanks to Boise viewer Robin Hadder for sending in this picture of the towering cumulonimbus cloud that formed this evening in the Boise area. Katy Moeller, idahostatesman, "Storm inundated Boise neighborhood Wednesday night. Is another soggy weekend ahead? | Idaho Statesman," 17 May 2018 In it, falling rain evaporates before reaching the ground because of high temperatures, but lightning from the high cumulonimbus clouds reaches the ground. Washington Post, "Portugal, a country helplessly prone to forest fires," 19 June 2017 At the logjammed bars, attendees reached again and again for palomas over bountiful crudité platters offering strips of jicama, spears of asparagus and cumulonimbus piles of purple cauliflower. Isaac Oliver, New York Times, "Going (Nearly) Bare for a Good Cause," 5 Apr. 2017 Your fingers slip into routines, digital rituals encoded by childhood habits, neural pathways waking like heat lightning blinking through cumulonimbus clouds. Matt Peckham, Time, "Metroid: Samus Returns Is Exactly the Metroid the 3DS Needs," 27 June 2017 If a clear sky in a landscape looked boring, a photographer’s assistant — often a woman (thought to possess a surer hand) — could create a separate negative with billowing cumulonimbuses. John Kelly, Washington Post, "A lecture on 19th-century photography techniques provides more than a snapshot," 8 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cumulonimbus.' 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 cumulonimbus

1887, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cumulonimbus

New Latin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cumulonimbus

Statistics for cumulonimbus

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cumulonimbus

The first known use of cumulonimbus was in 1887

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on cumulonimbus Encyclopedia article about cumulonimbus

Comments on cumulonimbus

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!