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[nim-buh s] /ˈnɪm bəs/
noun, plural nimbi
[nim-buh bahy] /ˈnɪm bəbaɪ/ (Show IPA),
Classical Mythology. a shining cloud sometimes surrounding a deity when on earth.
a cloud, aura, atmosphere, etc., surrounding a person or thing:
The candidate was encompassed with a nimbus of fame.
halo (def 1).
the type of dense clouds or cloud mass with ragged edges, that yields rain or snow; a rain cloud.
(initial capital letter) U.S. Aerospace. one of a series of polar-orbiting meteorological and environmental research satellites, the last of which Nimbus 7, launched 1978, was the first satellite designed to monitor atmospheric pollutants.
Origin of nimbus
1610-20; < Latin: a rainstorm, rain cloud, thundercloud, cloud; akin to Latin nebula and Greek nephélē, néphos cloud
Related forms
nimbused, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nimbus
  • First, you have to figure out it's not the sound-alike acronym, it's the plural of nimbus.
  • And a giddy nimbus of wannabes surrounded these regal figures and basked in their company.
  • Even viewed through a nimbus of nostalgia, the replay loop gets old.
  • Each has an aura, and together they radiate a veritable nimbus.
  • He dissolves his characters and events into a nimbus of sentiment.
British Dictionary definitions for nimbus


noun (pl) -bi (-baɪ), -buses
  1. a dark grey rain-bearing cloud
  2. (in combination): cumulonimbus clouds
  1. an emanation of light surrounding a saint or deity
  2. a representation of this emanation
a surrounding aura or atmosphere
Derived Forms
nimbused, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: cloud, radiance
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 nimbus

1610s, "bright cloud surrounding a god," from Latin nimbus "cloud," perhaps related to nebula "cloud, mist" (see nebula). Meaning "halo" is first recorded c.1730. Meteorological sense of "a rain cloud" is from 1803.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nimbus in Science
Plural nimbi (nĭm'bī') or nimbuses
A rain cloud.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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