I. noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: Middle English, rock, cloud, from Old English clūd; perhaps akin to Greek gloutos buttock Date: 14th century 1. a visible mass of particles of condensed vapor (as water or ice) suspended in the atmosphere of a planet (as the earth) or moon 2. something resembling or suggesting a cloud: as a. a light filmy, puffy, or billowy mass seeming to float in the air <
a cloud of blond hair
a ship under a cloud of sail
b. (1) a usually visible mass of minute particles suspended in the air or a gas (2) an aggregation of usually obscuring matter especially in interstellar space (3) an aggregate of charged particles (as electrons) c. a great crowd or multitude ; swarm <
clouds of mosquitoes
3. something that has a dark, lowering, or threatening aspect <
clouds of war
a cloud of suspicion
4. something that obscures or blemishes <
a cloud of ambiguity
5. a dark or opaque vein or spot (as in marble or a precious stone) II. verb Date: 1562 intransitive verb 1. to grow cloudy — usually used with over or up <
clouded over before the storm
2. a. of facial features to become troubled, apprehensive, or distressed in appearance <
her face clouded with worry
b. to become blurry, dubious, or ominous — often used with over <
the outlook is clouding over
3. to billow up in the form of a cloud transitive verb 1. a. to envelop or hide with or as if with a cloud <
smog clouded our view
b. to make opaque especially by condensation of moisture <
steam clouded the windows
c. to make murky especially with smoke or mist <
smoke clouded the sky
2. to make unclear or confused <
cloud the issue
3. taint, sully <
a clouded reputation
4. to cast gloom over <
cloud prospects for success

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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