The Meaning of Cloud 9: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you ever wondered about the definition of cloud 9? This article will provide you with all of the info you need on the word cloud 9, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the term cloud nine mean?

According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and Collins English Dictionary, the term cloud nine refers to a state of perfect happiness. This state of elation and psychological state of pride feels like the very peak of existence, high above glorious white mountains in the sky. 

Someone might feel like they are on cloud no. nine if they win a marathon, are a hero who saves the day, if they get into a school like Princeton University or if they complete a very difficult arithmetic sequence.

What is the origin of the phrase cloud nine?

According to The Idioms free dictionary, the term cloud nine comes from the 1896 edition of the International Cloud Atlas. Here, the types of cloud were assigned a numerical order. The number nine cloud was the cumulonimbus cloud, which is the highest reaching cloud that can rise up to 10km into the sky. Therefore, in a metaphorical sense, being on cloud nine would mean you are on top of a high up cumulonimbus cloud, and on top of the world in these classifications of cloud. There are also postulations that the word cloud nine comes from the ten steps of enlightenment in the Buddhist faith and Buddhism. While this origin is unknown, we know that the phrase has been used since the 1950s. Early examples of the first printed definition of the term were in the Denton Record Chronicle in May 1949 with an article about United States actress Betty Hutton and the Catalina Island yacht race in June 1947 with a yacht called Cloud Nine per the dictionary of American Slang. The term was also popularised by the Johnny Dollar radio show of the early 1950s. This term, along with other such acronyms or abbreviations, often have a murky origin.

What are synonyms and antonyms of cloud nine?

There are many different words that can be used in place of the word cloud nine, called synonyms. Synonyms are words and sometimes phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Learning synonyms is a great way to avoid repeating yourself as well as expand your English language vocabulary. This list of synonyms of cloud nine is provided by Power Thesaurus. 

  •  cheer
  •  heaven of heavens
  •  great happiness
  •  optimism
  •  euphoric state
  •  gaiety
  •  celestial throne
  •  well-being
  •  paradise
  •  transport
  •  divine abode
  •  ravishment
  •  ecstasy
  •  beatitude
  •  enjoyment
  •  walking on air
  •  absence of depression
  •  feeling of euphoria
  •  good cheer
  •  bliss
  •  heaven
  •  pleasure
  •  good spirits
  •  joy
  •  blitheness
  •  pig heaven
  •  throne of god
  •  jubilation
  •  cheerfulness
  •  elation
  •  euphoria
  •  cheeriness
  •  carefreeness
  •  enchantment
  •  contentment
  •  idyllic realm
  •  felicity
  •  exuberance
  •  joyousness
  •  blissfulness
  •  seventh heaven
  •  rapture
  •  contentedness
  •  happiness
  •  top of the world
  •  cloud number nine
  •  glee
  •  high spirits
  •  gladness
  •  extreme happiness
  •  exhilaration
  •  joyfulness
  •  delight
  •  perfect contentment
  •  delectation

What are other common idioms in the English language?

There are many different expressions in the English language that are considered idioms. Idioms might be difficult to decipher if English is not your first language, but with this list of common idioms from EF, you will be sure to be an expert on idioms in no time!

  •  Go back to the drawing board – Start over 
  •  Your guess is as good as mine – I have no idea 
  •  Miss the boat – It’s too late 
  •  Bite the bullet – To get something over with because it is inevitable 
  •  That’s the last straw – My patience has run out 
  •  Speak of the devil – The person we were just talking about showed up! 
  •  Cutting corners – Doing something poorly in order to save time or money 
  •  Pull someone’s leg – To joke with someone 
  •  It’s not rocket science – It’s not complicated 
  •  The best of both worlds – An ideal situation 
  •  Call it a day – Stop working on something 
  •  Give someone the benefit of the doubt – Trust what someone says 
  •  Wrap your head around something – Understand something complicated 
  •  On the ball – Doing a good job 
  •  A blessing in disguise – a good thing that seemed bad at first 
  •  A penny saved is a penny earned – Money you save today you can spend later
  •  A perfect storm – the worst possible situation
  •  Cut somebody some slack – Don’t be so critical 
  •  You can say that again – That’s true, I agree 
  •  No pain, no gain – You have to work for what you want 
  •  We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it – Let’s not talk about that problem right now 
  •  Make a long story short – Tell something briefly 
  •  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush – What you have is worth more than what you might have later
  •  A penny for your thoughts – Tell me what you’re thinking
  •  A picture is worth 1000 words – Better to show than tell
  •  Get out of hand – Get out of control 
  •  Time flies when you’re having fun – You don’t notice how long something lasts when it’s fun 
  •  To make matters worse – Make a problem worse 
  •  Hit the sack – Go to sleep 
  •  Break a leg – Good luck 
  •  Better late than never – Better to arrive late than not to come at all 
  •  Beat around the bush – Avoid saying what you mean, usually because it is uncomfortable 
  •  Easy does it – Slow down 
  •  To get bent out of shape – To get upset 
  •  Get something out of your system – Do the thing you’ve been wanting to do so you can move on 
  •  A dime a dozen – Something common 
  •  Pull yourself together – Calm down 
  •  So far so good – Things are going well so far 
  •  Hang in there – Don’t give up 
  •  Let someone off the hook – To not hold someone responsible for something
  •  Get your act together – Work better or leave
  •  Under the weather – Sick

Overall, the term cloud nine means a state of elation which is a reference to the highest cumulonimbus clouds in the sky.


  1. cloud nine meaning, definition, examples, origin, synonyms | The Idioms 
  2. Cloud nine definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  3. English idioms | EF
  4. Cloud Nine synonyms – 241 Words and Phrases for Cloud Nine | Power Thesaurus