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cloud (n.)

Old English clud "mass of rock, hill," related to clod.

The modern sense "rain-cloud, mass of evaporated water visible and suspended in the sky" is a metaphoric extension that begins to appear c. 1300 in southern texts, based on similarity of cumulus clouds and rock masses. The usual Old English word for "cloud" was weolcan (see welkin). In Middle English, skie also originally meant "cloud." The last entry for cloud in the original rock mass sense in Middle English Compendium is from c. 1475.

The four fundamental types of cloud classification (cirrus, cumulus, stratus, nimbus) were proposed by British amateur meteorologist Luke Howard (1772-1864) in 1802.

Meaning "cloud-like mass of smoke or dust" is from late 14c. Figuratively, as something that obscures, darkens, threatens, or casts a shadow, from c. 1300; hence under a cloud (c. 1500). In the clouds "removed from earthly things; obscure, fanciful, unreal" is from 1640s. Cloud-compeller translates (poetically) Greek nephelegereta, a Homeric epithet of Zeus.

cloud (v.)

early 15c., "overspread with clouds, cover, darken," from cloud (n.). From 1510s as "to render dim or obscure;" 1590s as "to overspread with gloom." Intransitive sense of "become cloudy" is from 1560s. Related: Clouded; clouding.

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Definitions of cloud from WordNet
1
cloud (v.)
make overcast or cloudy;
Synonyms: overcast
cloud (v.)
make less visible or unclear;
The stars are obscured by the clouds
Synonyms: obscure / befog / becloud / obnubilate / haze over / fog / mist
cloud (v.)
billow up in the form of a cloud;
The smoke clouded above the houses
cloud (v.)
make gloomy or depressed;
Their faces were clouded with sadness
cloud (v.)
place under suspicion or cast doubt upon;
Synonyms: defile / sully / corrupt / taint
cloud (v.)
make less clear;
the stroke clouded memories of her youth
cloud (v.)
colour with streaks or blotches of different shades;
Synonyms: mottle / dapple
cloud (v.)
make milky or dull;
The chemical clouded the liquid to which it was added
2
cloud (n.)
any collection of particles (e.g., smoke or dust) or gases that is visible;
cloud (n.)
a visible mass of water or ice particles suspended at a considerable altitude;
cloud (n.)
out of touch with reality;
his head was in the clouds
cloud (n.)
a cause of worry or gloom or trouble;
the only cloud on the horizon was the possibility of dissent by the French
cloud (n.)
suspicion affecting your reputation;
after that mistake he was under a cloud
cloud (n.)
a group of many things in the air or on the ground;
clouds of blossoms
it discharged a cloud of spores
Synonyms: swarm
From wordnet.princeton.edu