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Jun 18, 2010
This week's theme
Words related to weather

This week's words
aeolian
virga
El Nino
pluvial
nimbus

Buddha with nimbus
Buddha with nimbus, 1st-2nd century CE
Sculpture: Tokyo National Museum

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

nimbus

PRONUNCIATION:
(NIM-buhs) plural: nimbi or nimbuses

MEANING:
noun:
1. A rain cloud.
2. A halo or aura around the head of a person depicted in a piece of art.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin nimbus (cloud). Ultimately from the Indo-European root nebh- (cloud) that is also the source of nebula, nephometer (a device used in measuring the amount of cloud cover), and Sanskrit nabh (sky).

USAGE:
"The works take their cue from the perspective view one might see out an airplane window but become a curious exercise in painterly flatness, the white nimbuses butting up along the faint horizon."
Eric Banks; Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstraction; The Washington Post; Feb 20, 2010.

"He saw that at once; he took that also as the meed due his oil wells and his Yale nimbus, since three years at New Haven, leading no classes and winning no football games, had done nothing to dispossess him of the belief that he was the natural prey of all mothers of daughters."
William Faulkner; Collected Stories of William Faulkner; Vintage Books; 1995.

See more usage examples of nimbus in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world. I may not complete this last one but I will try. -Rainer Maria Rilke, poet and novelist (1875-1926)

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