Definition of nimbus in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnimbəs/

noun (plural nimbi /-ˌbī/ or nimbuses)

1A luminous cloud or a halo surrounding a supernatural being or a saint.
Example sentences
  • This boy monk had a halo around him, a nimbus of purity, divinity, and godliness.
  • That we especially attend to, and emphasize, borders and boundaries is evidenced powerfully in our use of halos, the nimbus and the aura in the arts.
  • Sun worship was marked by the use of the halo, or nimbus, which originated with the pagan Greeks and Romans to represent their sun god, Helios.
1.1A light, color, etc., that surrounds someone or something.
Example sentences
  • As the waiting room door closed behind him, another door opened in front of him, with a familiar electronic hum and a nimbus of blue-white light.
  • Mara stood there, face incandescent with rage, eyes blazing with purple wrath and entire body outlined in a shimmering nimbus of terrible light.
  • Outside it was still dark, but there was a hint of pink on the eastern horizon, a small nimbus of light that proclaimed the coming of the sun.
2A large gray rain cloud: [as modifier]: nimbus clouds
More example sentences
  • Above the mighty fortress of earth, dark cumulous nimbus clouds clash violently against each other invoking the worst of all storms and hindering all whom dare to cross by air.
  • As though a spell was spoken, a strong, chilling wind passed over the two and a large nimbus cloud blocked the Sun out.
  • Her face, all her skin, was the color of the nimbus clouds on a calm summer afternoon.


Early 17th century: from Latin, literally 'cloud, aureole'.

Words that rhyme with nimbus


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: nim·bus

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