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From Middle English cloud, cloude, clod, clud, clude, from Old English clūd (mass of stone, rock, boulder, hill), from Proto-Germanic *klūtaz, *klutaz (lump, mass, conglomeration), from Proto-Indo-European *gel- (to ball up, clench).

Cognate with Scots clood, clud (cloud), Dutch kluit (lump, mass, clod), German Low German Kluut, Kluute (lump, mass, ball), German Kloß (lump, ball, dumpling), Danish klode (sphere, orb, planet), Swedish klot (sphere, orb, ball, globe), Icelandic klót (knob on a sword's hilt). Related to English clod, clot, clump, club. Displaced native Middle English wolken, wolkne from Old English wolcen (whence welkin), the commonest Germanic word (compare Dutch wolk, German Wolke).



cloud (plural clouds)

  1. (obsolete) A rock; boulder; a hill.
  2. A visible mass of water droplets suspended in the air.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter IV, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803:
      So this was my future home, I thought! [] Backed by towering hills, the but faintly discernible purple line of the French boundary off to the southwest, a sky of palest Gobelin flecked with fat, fleecy little clouds, it in truth looked a dear little city; the city of one's dreams.
  3. Any mass of dust, steam or smoke resembling such a mass.
    • 2013 June 29, “Unspontaneous combustion”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 29:
      Since the mid-1980s, when Indonesia first began to clear its bountiful forests on an industrial scale in favour of lucrative palm-oil plantations, “haze” has become an almost annual occurrence in South-East Asia. The cheapest way to clear logged woodland is to burn it, producing an acrid cloud of foul white smoke that, carried by the wind, can cover hundreds, or even thousands, of square miles.
  4. Anything which makes things foggy or gloomy.
  5. (figuratively) Anything unsubstantial.
  6. A dark spot on a lighter material or background.
  7. A group or swarm, especially suspended above the ground or flying.
    He opened the door and was greeted by a cloud of bats.
    • Bible, Hebrews xii. 1
      so great a cloud of witnesses
  8. An elliptical shape or symbol whose outline is a series of semicircles, supposed to resemble a cloud.
    The comic-book character's thoughts appeared in a cloud above his head.
  9. (computing, with "the") The Internet, regarded as an abstract amorphous omnipresent space for processing and storage, the focus of cloud computing.
    • 2013 June 14, Jonathan Freedland, “Obama's once hip brand is now tainted”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 1, page 18:
      Now we are liberal with our innermost secrets, spraying them into the public ether with a generosity our forebears could not have imagined. Where we once sent love letters in a sealed envelope, or stuck photographs of our children in a family album, now such private material is despatched to servers and clouds operated by people we don't know and will never meet.
  10. (figuratively) A negative or foreboding aspect of something positive: see every cloud has a silver lining or every silver lining has a cloud.
    • 2011 January 25, Phil McNulty, “Blackpool 2-3 Man Utd”, in BBC:
      The only cloud on their night was that injury to Rafael, who was followed off the pitch by his anxious brother Fabio as he was stretchered away down the tunnel.
  11. (slang) Crystal methamphetamine.
  12. A large, loosely-knitted headscarf worn by women.



Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from cloud


See cloud/translations § Noun.

See also[edit]


cloud (third-person singular simple present clouds, present participle clouding, simple past and past participle clouded)

  1. (intransitive) To become foggy or gloomy, or obscured from sight.
    The glass clouds when you breathe on it.
  2. (transitive) To overspread or hide with a cloud or clouds.
    The sky is clouded.
  3. (transitive) To make obscure.
    All this talk about human rights is clouding the real issue.
  4. (transitive) To make less acute or perceptive.
    Your emotions are clouding your judgement.
    The tears began to well up and cloud my vision.
  5. (transitive) To make gloomy or sullen.
  6. (transitive) To blacken; to sully; to stain; to tarnish (reputation or character).
  7. (transitive) To mark with, or darken in, veins or sports; to variegate with colors.
    to cloud yarn
  8. (intransitive) To become marked, darkened or variegated in this way.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Further reading[edit]





cloud m (uncountable)

  1. (computing, Anglicism, with le) the cloud.


See also[edit]



cloud m (plural clouds)

  1. (computing) cloud