- Popular etymology references the 1896 edition of the International Cloud Atlas which defined ten types of cloud. The book defined the ninth cloud as the cumulonimbus, which rises to 10 km (6.2 miles), the highest a cloud can be. No conclusive evidence, however, confirms this origin.
- The 1960 print of the Dictionary of American Slang (Wentworth & Flexner) includes “cloud seven”, which seems to predate “cloud nine” by a few years. Other etymologies reference Buddhist or Christian lore, and even Dante’s Divine Comedy, but again, no evidence prefers these versions.
- (idiomatic) A state of happiness, elation or bliss; often used in the phrase on cloud nine
- He was on cloud nine for days after she agreed to marry him.
a state of happiness