Definition of nimbus in English:


Syllabification: nim·bus
Pronunciation: /ˈnimbəs

noun (plural nimbi /-ˌbī/ or nimbuses)

  • 1A luminous cloud or a halo surrounding a supernatural being or a saint.
    More 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.
    More 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'.

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