cirrus

[sir-uhs]
noun, plural cirrus for 1, cirri [sir-ahy] , for 2, 3.
1.
Meteorology.
a.
a cloud of a class characterized by thin white filaments or narrow bands and a composition of ice crystals: of high altitude, about 20,000–40,000 feet (6000–12,000 meters).
b.
a cirriform cloud.
2.
Botany. a tendril.
3.
Zoology.
a.
a filament or slender appendage serving as a foot, tentacle, barbel, etc.
b.
the male copulatory organ of flatworms and various other invertebrates.

Origin:
1700–10; < Latin: a curl, tuft, plant filament like a tuft of hair

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
cirrus (ˈsɪrəs)
 
n , pl -ri
1.  meteorol a thin wispy fibrous cloud at high altitudes, composed of ice particles
2.  a plant tendril or similar part
3.  zoology
 a.  a slender tentacle or filament in barnacles and other marine invertebrates
 b.  a hairlike structure in other animals, such as a filament on the appendage of an insect or a barbel of a fish
 
[C18: from Latin: curl, tuft, fringe]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cirrus
1708, "curl-like fringe or tuft," from L. cirrus "a lock of hair, tendril, curl, ringlet of hair; the fringe of a garment." In meteorology, cirrus clouds attested from 1803. So called from fancied resemblance of shape.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
cirrus   (sîr'əs)  Pronunciation Key 
Plural cirri (sîr'ī')
A high-altitude cloud composed of feathery white patches or bands of ice crystals. Cirrus clouds generally form between 6,100 and 12,200 m (20,000 and 40,000 ft). See illustration at cloud.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The sun is blazing from a blue sky feathered lightly with cirrus cloud.
Aircraft emissions can affect the properties of cirrus clouds, contributing to climate change.
On the left is shown the histogram of cirrus cloud optical depth frequency.
Images for cirrus
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