stra·​tus | \ ˈstrā-təs How to pronounce stratus (audio) , ˈstra- \
plural strati\ ˈstrā-​ˌtī How to pronounce strati (audio) , ˈstra-​ \

Definition of stratus

: a low cloud form extending over a large area at altitudes of usually 2000 to 7000 feet (600 to 2100 meters) — see cloud illustration

Examples of stratus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Check out the clouds accompanying a strong jet stream over #idwx #mtwx #wywx and the view of coastal stratus and fog is showing up nicely on the morning imagery. Nora Mishanec,, "Powerful winds to gust through the weekend, extending fire risk and threat of Bay Area blackouts," 20 Oct. 2020 Most of the metro area is waking to heavy cloud cover early Thursday as marine stratus has pushed in from the coast. oregonlive, "Portland metro Thursday weather: Clouds to start, then clearing; high 84," 25 June 2020 Low clouds fall into four divisions: cumulus, stratus, cumulonimbus, and stratocumulus. Catherine Zuckerman, National Geographic, "Clouds, explained," 24 Apr. 2019 Hill 88, Rodeo Beach: The coastal fog deck often (but not always) tops out at 600 to 1,000 feet — that’s when Hill 88 and its 1,053-foot summit provides a spectacular view across the stratus sea. Tom Stienstra,, "’Tis the season for ‘Dancing with Fog’," 12 July 2018 Near dawn and dusk, refracted sunlight filtered through the stratus can create a kaleidoscope of color for a few minutes and add to the phenomenon. Tom Stienstra,, "’Tis the season for ‘Dancing with Fog’," 12 July 2018 The rising air and sinking air meet in the lower atmosphere to form a marine layer—typically low-altitude stratus clouds. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "In absence of fog, the images from a SpaceX launch Tuesday are stunning," 23 May 2018 Cirrus and altocumulus clouds moved over Washington during sunrise while the storm’s stratus clouds and precipitation were west of the mountains. Kevin Ambrose, Washington Post, "Red sky at morning, sailors’ warning: Beautiful sunrise portends approaching storm," 19 Mar. 2018 Here's what the webcam looked like as the stratus moved into the #Boise area today — NWS Boise (@NWSBoise) December 6, 2017 Locally dense fog has formed in the Boise and Nampa areas. Katy Moeller, idahostatesman, "Is there anything in the forecast to shake up the inversion gripping Boise?," 8 Dec. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of stratus

circa 1803, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stratus

New Latin, from Latin, past participle of sternere

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stratus

Time Traveler for stratus

Time Traveler

The first known use of stratus was circa 1803

See more words from the same year

Statistics for stratus

Last Updated

29 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stratus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stratus


stra·​tus | \ ˈstrā-təs How to pronounce stratus (audio) , ˈstra- \
plural strati\ ˈstrā-​ˌtī , ˈstra-​ \

Kids Definition of stratus

: a cloud extending over a large area at an altitude of from 2000 to 7000 feet (600 to 2100 meters)

More from Merriam-Webster on stratus Encyclopedia article about stratus

Comments on stratus

What made you want to look up stratus? 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?


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!