From the Dictionary.com entry:
1. Classical Mythology. a shining cloud sometimes surrounding a deity when on earth.
2. a cloud, aura, atmosphere, etc., surrounding a person or thing: The candidate was encompassed with a nimbus of fame.
3. halo (def. 1).
4. the type of dense clouds or cloud mass with ragged edges, that yields rain or snow; a rain cloud.
I always thought of a nimbus as #1, a glowing cloud, more like a corona or halo. The connection to cumulonimbus had somehow escaped me.
I had been looking for words meaning "rain". My short list this time included:
- Dutch (regen)
- Danish (regn)
- Finnish (sataa, which incidentally is Chinese for "kill him/her/it")
- Vietnamese (mưa, which is just fun to say)
- Tagalog (ulan)
Also, I can't believe this is my first Latin Cool Word of the Month, after several dozen! It's not as if I have been restricting them to living languages, or even real ones.