cloud

[OE] In Old English the word for ‘cloud’ was weolcen (whence modern English welkin, a poetical term for ‘sky’), which is related to German wolke ‘cloud’. At that time Old English clūd, the ancestor of cloud, meant ‘mass of rock, hill’ (it is probably related to clod). As applied to ‘clouds’, presumably from a supposed resemblance between cumulus clouds and lumps of earth or rock, it dates from the 13th century. => CLOD
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   The original sense of the word in English was 'hill.' Later the word was transferred to clouds, especially cumulus ones, which look like hills. The earlier word for 'cloud' was thus welkin or sky. The old sense of the word has survived in the names of some hills, such as The Cloud on the Cheshire–Staffordshire border. The word itself is probably related to clod.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Synonyms:

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