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Could someone help me understand the difference between a cloudy pillar and a pillar of cloud? I know they could be used synonymously, but I want to know if there is any discrapancy between the two in english.

closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, lbf, JonMark Perry, choster, Mitch Aug 21 '18 at 13:18

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  • Is a cloudy day a day of clouds?? – Lambie Aug 18 '18 at 13:05
  • @Lambie Actually, one could put it that way. :) – Lawrence Aug 18 '18 at 13:29
  • Please provide the context. Where have you encountered these terms? What are they describing? In fact, neither phrase sounds natural to me. – choster Aug 20 '18 at 15:50
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A cloudy pillar would be a pillar that is cloudy (sorry). Where the pillar could be made of stone, metal or anything else. Cloudy has many meanings, some fairly metaphorical. For example:

dimmed or dulled as if by clouds a cloudy mirror

uneven in color or texture

Merriam-Webster

So it could be a stone pillar carved with a pattern of clouds. Or a wooden pillar obscured by clouds. Or a mirrored pillar that needs cleaning. Or a glass pillar filled with a cloudy liquid. Or, even, a pillar made of cloud.

On the other hand, pillar of cloud means a pillar made of cloud (or a cloud in the shape of a pillar). It could be intended metaphorically, but that would only be obvious from the context.

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