Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A dense, white, fluffy, flat-based cloud with a multiple rounded top and a well-defined outline, usually formed by the ascent of thermally unstable air masses.
  • n. A pile, mound, or heap.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large white puffy cloud that develops through convection. On a hot, humid day, they can form towers and even become cumulonimbus clouds.
  • n. A mound or heap.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the four principal forms of clouds. Seecloud.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The kind of cloud which appears in the form of rounded heaps or hills, snowy-white at top with a darker horizontal base, characteristic of mild, calm weather, especially in summer; the summer-day cloud. See cut under cloud, 1.
  • n. In anatomy, a heap of cells surrounding a ripe ovum in the Graafian follicle, and constituting the discus proligerus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a collection of objects laid on top of each other
  • n. a globular cloud

Etymologies

Latin, heap; see keuə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The word cumulus has a root similar to accumulate and means “piled up.”

    Earth Lenticular | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles

  • The first stage of air mass thunderstorm development is called the cumulus stage (Figure 3).

    Thunderstorm

  • This works to loosen a gel-like coating and sticky layer of cells known as the cumulus corona.

    Getting Pregnant

  • Go out and explain me one of those great wads of wool called cumulus or cumulonimbus.

    Passage at Arms

  • The ships are given the names of clouds, such as "cumulus" and "mares tails" which the protagonist of the story, Master Tem, has an ability to predict their patterns and severity in order to warn the townspeople of possible floods and other storms brought on by them.

    Fiction Review: Jason Sanford's "The Ships Like Clouds Risen by Their Rain"

  • Jonker said it was unclear, for example, whether there would be more or fewer low clouds, such as cumulus clouds, in warmer conditions, which would affect the rate of global warming because of their role in reflecting sunlight away from the earth.

    Taipei Times

  • The researchers focused their lab studies on the lower 'fair-weather' clouds such as cumulus, which reflect sunlight away from the earth and therefore have a cooling effect.

    EcoEarth.Info Environment RSS Newsfeed

  • When lower and in heavy roundish masses it's called alto-cumulus, which is the fifth on the list, and when it is lower still and looks like a lot of great blue-gray footballs wedged closely together it is known as strato-cumulus. "

    The Boy with the U. S. Weather Men

  • "cumulus" cloud; and in a few seconds afterwards, huge fragments of the wreck showered down, far and wide, upon the river and the adjacent shore.

    The Narrative of a Blockade-Runner

  • A young, crisp cumulus can develop a "pileus"—a delicate, evanescent cloud-cap, which Mr. Pretor- Pinney disconcertingly likens to Donald Trump's comb-over.

    Cirrus Concerns

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