nimbus

play
noun nim·bus \ˈnim-bəs\

Definition of nimbus

plural

nimbi

play \ˈnim-ˌbī, -ˌbē\ or

nimbuses

  1. 1a :  a luminous vapor, cloud, or atmosphere about a god or goddess when on earthb :  a cloud or atmosphere (as of romance) about a person or thing

  2. 2 :  an indication (such as a circle) of radiant light or glory about the head of a drawn or sculptured divinity, saint, or sovereign

  3. 3a :  a rain cloudb :  thunderhead; also :  cumulus 2

Examples of nimbus in a Sentence

  1. fans are inevitably disappointed when the nimbus of glamour about their favorite celebrity turns out to be an illusion

  2. the nimbi for the sculpted figures around the exterior of the church are simple disks about the saints' heads

Illustration of nimbus

Origin and Etymology of nimbus

Latin, rainstorm, cloud; probably akin to Latin nebula cloud — more at nebula


First Known Use: 1606

Other Mythology and Folklore Terms


NIMBUS Defined for English Language Learners

nimbus

play
noun

Definition of nimbus for English Language Learners

  • : a circle of light


NIMBUS Defined for Kids

nimbus

play
noun nim·bus \ˈnim-bəs\

Definition of nimbus for Students

plural

nimbi

\-ˌbī\ or

nimbuses

  1. :  a rain cloud



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to glide in or as if in an airplane

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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