n. pl. nim·bi (-bī′) or nim·bus·es
1. A cloudy radiance said to surround a classical deity when on earth.
2. A radiant light that appears usually in the form of a circle or halo about or over the head in the representation of a god, demigod, saint, or sacred person such as a king or an emperor.
3. A splendid atmosphere or aura, as of glamour, that surrounds a person or thing.
4. A rain cloud, especially a low dark layer of clouds such as a nimbostratus.
[Latin, cloud; see nebh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.