Nimbus – Improve your English

Having spoken in class about halos the other day I have discovered a nimbus. I receive an email giving a “Word for the Day” from this site. It is useful – below is the one for February 23rd.

Word of the Day for Wednesday, February 23, 2011

nimbus \NIM-buhs\, noun:

1. (Fine Arts) A circle, or disk, or any indication of radiant light around the heads of divinities, saints, and sovereigns, upon medals, pictures, etc.; a halo.
2. A cloud or atmosphere (as of romance or glamour) that surrounds a person or thing.
3. (Meteorology) A rain cloud.

Sometimes when she stood in front of a lamp, the highlights on her hair made a nimbus.

— James Morgan, The Distance to the Moon

The two lights over the front steps were haloed with a hazy nimbus of mist, and strange insects fluttered up against the screen, fragile, wing-thin and blinded, dazed, numbed by the brilliance.

— Karen V. Kukil (Editor), The Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962

Mara felt she could practically see a nimbus of light around her, like the biblical Esther before she becomes queen.

— Anna Shapiro, The Scourge

Decorated in royal green and gold with crystal chandeliers and plush furniture, the office featured a lighted full-length portrait of Johnson leaning against a bookcase and two overhead lamps projecting “an impressive nimbus of golden light” as Lyndon sat at his desk.

— Robert Dallek, Flawed Giant

Nimbus is from the Latin nimbus, “a rain cloud, a rain storm.”


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