stra·​tus ˈstrā-təs How to pronounce stratus (audio)
plural strati ˈstrā-ˌtī How to pronounce stratus (audio)
: a low cloud form extending over a large area at altitudes of usually 2000 to 7000 feet (600 to 2100 meters) see cloud illustration

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Beneath the smoke, low level stratus clouds also swirl in the weather system's circulation pattern. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 9 June 2016 Despite the sun’s attempts to shine over San Francisco this morning, the city and most of the Bay Area will be shrouded in a sea of thick stratus clouds today. Gerry Díaz, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 Dec. 2022 The Cloudmonster is different: more light, fluffy cumulus than flat, static stratus. Cory Smith, Outside Online, 18 Oct. 2022 Nimbostratus, altostratus, cumulonimbus, stratus and even cumulus clouds can all appear dark in color at times. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 17 July 2022 Thursday will start out partly cloudy in Portland as some marine stratus has moved into the valleys. oregonlive, 30 June 2022 Even some drizzle occurred this morning from that thick layer of stratus near the coast. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2021 The National Weather Service said a surge of southerly onshore winds and stratus clouds made their way way up the coast to the Bay Area, bringing cooler air and lingering fog to portions of the region. Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Dec. 2021 Low stratus clouds shrouded parts of the Bay Area on Sunday morning but were expected to dissipate later in the day. Emma Talley, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stratus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


New Latin, from Latin, past participle of sternere

First Known Use

circa 1803, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stratus was circa 1803

Dictionary Entries Near stratus

Cite this Entry

“Stratus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


stra·​tus ˈstrāt-əs How to pronounce stratus (audio)
plural strati ˈstrāt-ˌī How to pronounce stratus (audio)
: a cloud form extending over a large area at altitudes of usually 2000 to 7000 feet (600 to 2100 meters)

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