a visible collection of particles of water or ice suspended in the air, usually at an elevation above the earth's surface.
any similar mass, especially of smoke or dust.
a dim or obscure area in something otherwise clear or transparent.
a patch or spot differing in color from the surrounding surface.
anything that obscures or darkens something, or causes gloom, trouble, suspicion, disgrace, etc.
a great number of insects, birds, etc., flying together: a cloud of locusts obscuring the sun.
the Internet (usually preceded by the ): More and more software companies are putting versions of their programs in the cloud.
of or pertaining to cloud computing: cloud software; cloud servers.
pertaining to or doing business on the Internet: Google and other cloud companies.
verb (used with object)
to overspread or cover with, or as with, a cloud or clouds: The smoke from the fire clouded the sun from view.
to overshadow; obscure; darken: The hardships of war cloud his childhood memories.
to make gloomy.
(of distress, anxiety, etc.) to reveal itself in (a part of one's face): Worry clouded his brow.
to make obscure or indistinct; confuse: Don't cloud the issue with unnecessary details.
to place under suspicion, disgrace, etc.
to variegate with patches of another color.
verb (used without object)
to grow cloudy; become clouded.
(of a part of one's face) to reveal one's distress, anxiety, etc.: His brow clouded with anger.
in the clouds,
in a condition of absent-mindedness; lost in reverie.
impractical: Their schemes are usually up in the clouds.
on a cloud, Informal. exceedingly happy; in high spirits: On the night of the prom the seniors were on a cloud.
under a cloud, in disgrace; under suspicion: After going bankrupt he left town under a cloud.

before 900; Middle English; Old English clūd rock, hill; probably akin to clod

cloudlike, adjective
intercloud, verb (used with object)

1. vapor. 6. swarm, horde, multitude, throng, host, crowd, army. 14. muddle, distort. 19. Cloud, fog, haze, mist differ somewhat in their figurative uses. Cloud connotes especially daydreaming: His mind is in the clouds. Fog and haze connote especially bewilderment or confusion: to go around in a fog (haze ). Mist has an emotional connotation and suggests tears: a mist in one's eyes. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cloud (klaʊd)
1.  cirrus cumulonimbus cumulus See also stratus a mass of water or ice particles visible in the sky, usually white or grey, from which rain or snow falls when the particles coagulate
2.  any collection of particles visible in the air, esp of smoke or dust
3.  a large number of insects or other small animals in flight
4.  something that darkens, threatens, or carries gloom
5.  jewellery a cloudlike blemish in a transparent stone
6.  (modifier) of or relating to cloud computing: a cloud application
7.  in the clouds not in contact with reality
8.  under a cloud
 a.  under reproach or suspicion
 b.  in a state of gloom or bad temper
9.  informal on cloud nine elated; very happy
vb (when intr, often foll by over or up)
10.  to make or become cloudy, overcast, or indistinct
11.  (tr) to make obscure; darken
12.  (tr) to confuse or impair: emotion clouded his judgment
13.  to make or become gloomy or depressed
14.  (tr) to place under or render liable to suspicion or disgrace
15.  to render (liquids) milky or dull or (of liquids) to become milky or dull
16.  to become or render mottled or variegated
[C13 (in the sense: a mass of vapour): from Old English clūd rock, hill; probably related to clod]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. clud "mass of rock," from P.Gmc. *kludas, metaphoric extension 13c. based on similarity of cumulus clouds and rock masses. O.E. word for "cloud" was weolcan.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
cloud   (kloud)  Pronunciation Key 

(click for larger image in new window)

  1. A visible body of very fine water droplets or ice particles suspended in the atmosphere at altitudes ranging up to several miles above sea level. Clouds are formed when air that contains water vapor cools below the dew point.

  2. A distinguishable mass of particles or gas, such as the collection of gases and dust in a nebula.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

cloud definition

cloud computing

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Bible Dictionary

Cloud definition

The Hebrew so rendered means "a covering," because clouds cover the sky. The word is used as a symbol of the Divine presence, as indicating the splendour of that glory which it conceals (Ex. 16:10; 33:9; Num. 11:25; 12:5; Job 22:14; Ps. 18:11). A "cloud without rain" is a proverbial saying, denoting a man who does not keep his promise (Prov. 16:15; Isa. 18:4; 25:5; Jude 1:12). A cloud is the figure of that which is transitory (Job 30:15; Hos. 6:4). A bright cloud is the symbolical seat of the Divine presence (Ex.29:42, 43; 1 Kings 8:10; 2 Chr. 5:14; Ezek. 43:4), and was called the Shechinah (q.v.). Jehovah came down upon Sinai in a cloud (Ex. 19:9); and the cloud filled the court around the tabernacle in the wilderness so that Moses could not enter it (Ex. 40:34, 35). At the dedication of the temple also the cloud "filled the house of the Lord" (1 Kings 8:10). Thus in like manner when Christ comes the second time he is described as coming "in the clouds" (Matt. 17:5; 24:30; Acts 1:9, 11). False teachers are likened unto clouds carried about with a tempest (2 Pet. 2:17). The infirmities of old age, which come one after another, are compared by Solomon to "clouds returning after the rain" (Eccl. 12:2). The blotting out of sins is like the sudden disappearance of threatening clouds from the sky (Isa. 44:22). Cloud, the pillar of, was the glory-cloud which indicated God's presence leading the ransomed people through the wilderness (Ex. 13:22; 33:9, 10). This pillar preceded the people as they marched, resting on the ark (Ex. 13:21; 40:36). By night it became a pillar of fire (Num. 9:17-23).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with cloud, also see head in the clouds; on cloud nine; silver lining, every cloud has; under a cloud.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
The lowered pressure condenses the water in the air, creating a vapor cloud.
They guessed the resulting cloud of debris could contain as much as five
  gallons of water.
Water droplets from the mesocyclone's moist air form a funnel cloud.
These cloud services can be provided by the government to many agencies or by
  outside technology companies.
Images for cloud
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