American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Wisps of precipitation streaming from a cloud but evaporating before reaching the ground.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The penis.
- n. music, uncountable A type of note used in plainsong notation, having a tail.
- n. meteorology, countable A streak of rain or snow that is dissipated in falling and does not reach the ground, commonly appearing descending from a cloud layer.
- n. light wispy precipitation that evaporates before it reaches the ground (especially when the lower air is low in humidity)
- From Latin virga ("rod"). (Wiktionary)
- Latin, twig, virga. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“When used singly, the acutus, too, retained its shape fairly accurately and from its shape received the name virga (virgula).”
“There was a horizon-to-horizon rainbow to the northeast, a "sun pillar" to the northwest, and "virga" - wisps of precipitation (such as snow or ice) streaming down from a cloud but evaporating before reaching the ground.”
“Most of this -- and -- and, folks, get ready -- this is a nerd alert for you -- most of this is virga, which is precipitation that's so light, it's not even reaching the surface of the Earth.”
“Thus even the clivis (more correctly clinis) was at an early period called virga flexa, and the torculus could be considered as a pes flexus.”
“Essentially, much of the atmospheric moisture over these continental areas appears to come from rain that evaporates before it reaches the ground (it's called "virga"), as well as moisture given off by the lush tropical plant life through evapotranspiration.”
“Some of the snow you see on radar is virga - i.e. snow that is not yet reaching the ground.”
“Saddam Hussein's-strong-man-reign had evaporated into the virga of a scraggly peon trapped in a urine ditch.”
“And what you see moving through the D.C. area there, that's virga; it's precipitation that evaporates before it ever reaches the ground.”
“In fact, most of what you're seeing out in this area is what we call "virga.”
“Helictotrichon pubescens, Dactylis glomerata, Agropyron tianschanicum, and Poa nemoralis and the forbs Solidago virga-aurea, Mulgedium azureum, Doronicum altaicum, Senecio soongoricus, Crepis sibirica, Aegopodium alpestre, and Cerastium dahuricum.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘virga’.
We owe our current names for clouds to Luke Howard. Wikipedia tells us that "Howard was not the first to attempt a classification of clouds—Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744–1829) had earlier proposed a ...
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