noun, plural nim·bi [nim-buh bahy] /ˈnɪm bəbaɪ/, nim·bus·es.

  1. Classical Mythology. a shining cloud sometimes surrounding a deity when on earth.
  2. a cloud, aura, atmosphere, etc., surrounding a person or thing: The candidate was encompassed with a nimbus of fame.
  3. halo(def 1).
  4. the type of dense clouds or cloud mass with ragged edges, that yields rain or snow; a rain cloud.
  5. (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.

noun plural -bi (-baɪ) or -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
  1. a surrounding aura or atmosphere

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.

Plural nimbi (nĭmbī′) nimbuses

  1. A rain cloud.

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