Language: Old English
Origin: clud 'rock, hill'; because some clouds look like rocks


1 noun
cloud1 S3 W3

in the sky

[uncountable and countable]DN a white or grey mass in the sky that forms from very small drops of water
heavy/thick/dense etc clouds
Dark clouds floated across the moon.
Heavy clouds had gathered over the summit of Mont Blanc.
low/high cloud
Visibility was bad due to low cloud.
storm cloud, thundercloud

in the air

[countable] a mass of dust, smoke etc in the air, or a large number of insects flying together
cloud of dust/smoke/gas etc
A cloud of steam rose into the air
clouds of mosquitoes buzzing around us


[countable] something that makes you feel afraid, worried. unhappy etc
cloud of
the cloud of economic recession
cloud on the horizon (=something that might spoil a happy situation)
The only cloud on the horizon was her mother's illness.
Fears of renewed terrorist attacks cast a cloud over the event (=spoilt the happy situation).
He returned to New York under a cloud of gloom and despair.

under a cloud (of suspicion)

informal if someone is under a cloud, people have a bad opinion of them because they think they have done something wrong:
He left the company under a cloud of suspicion.

be on cloud nine

informal to be very happy about something

every cloud has a silver lining

used to say that there is something good even in a situation that seems very sad or difficult

be/live in cloud-cuckoo-land

British English to think that a situation is much better than it really is, in a way that is slightly stupid

➔ have your head in the clouds

at head1 (24)

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