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[sir-uh s] /ˈsɪr əs/
noun, plural cirrus for 1, cirri
[sir-ahy] /ˈsɪr aɪ/ (Show IPA),
for 2, 3.
  1. 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).
  2. a cirriform cloud.
Botany. a tendril.
  1. a filament or slender appendage serving as a foot, tentacle, barbel, etc.
  2. the male copulatory organ of flatworms and various other invertebrates.
Origin of cirrus
1700-10; < Latin: a curl, tuft, plant filament like a tuft of hair Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for cirrus


noun (pl) -ri (-raɪ)
(meteorol) a thin wispy fibrous cloud at high altitudes, composed of ice particles
a plant tendril or similar part
  1. a slender tentacle or filament in barnacles and other marine invertebrates
  2. a hairlike structure in other animals, such as a filament on the appendage of an insect or a barbel of a fish
Word Origin
C18: from Latin: curl, tuft, fringe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cirrus

1708, "curl-like fringe or tuft," from Latin 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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cirrus in Science
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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