The noun is derived from Middle English ski, skie, sky (“firmament, heavens, sky; cloud; cloud of mist or vapour; fog, mist; (astrology) certain configuration of the heavens; (astronomy) sphere of the celestial realm; (physiology) cloudiness, smoky residue (for example, in urine)”) [and other forms], from Old Norse ský (“cloud”), from Proto-Germanic *skiwją (“cloud; sky”), from *skiwô (“cloud; cloud cover, haze; sky”) (whence Old English sċēo (“cloud”) and Middle English skew (“air; sky; (rare) cloud”)), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kewH- (“to cover; to conceal, hide”).
The English word is cognate with Old English scēo (“cloud”), Old Saxon scio, skio, skeo (“light cloud cover”), Danish, Swedish and Norwegian Bokmål sky (“cloud”), Old Irish ceo (“mist, fog”), Irish ceo (“mist, fog”). It is also related to Old English scūa (“shadow, darkness”), Latin obscūrus (“dark, shadowy”), Sanskrit स्कुनाति (skunāti, “he covers”). See also hide, hose, house, hut, shoe.
- (Received Pronunciation, General American) enPR: skī, IPA(key): /skaɪ/
Audio (RP) (file) Audio (GA) (file)
- Homophones: Sky, Skye
- Rhymes: -aɪ
sky (plural skies)
- The atmosphere above a given point, especially as visible from the surface of the Earth as the place where the sun, moon, stars, and clouds are seen.
- Synonyms: blue, firmament, heaven, (chiefly Scotland) lift, (literary or poetic, archaic) welkin
- That year, a meteor fell from the sky.
- c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, A Midsommer Nights Dreame. […] (First Quarto), London: […] [Richard Bradock] for Thomas Fisher, […], published 1600, OCLC 1041029189, [Act IV, scene i]:
- For beſides the groues, / The skyes, the fountaines, euery region neare / Seeme all one mutuall cry. I neuer heard / So muſicall a diſcord, ſuch ſweete thunder.
- 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], part II (books IV–VI), London: […] [Richard Field] for VVilliam Ponsonby, OCLC 932900760, book IV, canto III, stanza 13, page 40:
- His wearie ghoſt aſſoyld from fleſhly band, / Did not as others wont, directly fly / Vnto her reſt in Plutoes grieſly land, / Ne into ayre did vaniſh preſently, / Ne chaunged was into a ſtarre in sky: […]
- c. 1596–1599, William Shakespeare, The Second Part of Henrie the Fourth, […], quarto edition, London: […] V[alentine] S[immes] for Andrew Wise, and William Aspley, published 1600, OCLC 55178895, [Act IV, scene ii]:
- [I]f you doe not all ſhew like guilt twoo pences to mee, and I in the cleere skie of Fame, ore-ſhine you as much as the full moone doth the cindars of the element, (which ſhew like pinnes heads to her) beleeue not the worde of the noble: […]
- [I]f you do not all appear like gilt twopences [i.e., counterfeit coins] next to me, and I, in the clear sky of fame, outshine you as much as the full moon outshines the cinders of the element [i.e., the stars] (which look like pinheads next to the moon), then don't believe me: […]
- 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene vi], page 396, column 1:
- [A] Nobler Sir, ne're liu'd / 'Twixt sky and ground.
- 1660 November 11, John Evelyn, “[Diary entry for 1 November 1660 (Julian calendar)]”, in William Bray, editor, Memoirs, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of John Evelyn, […] , volume I, 2nd edition, London: Henry Colburn, […], published 1819, OCLC 976971842, page 327:
- I went with some of my relations to Court, to shew them his Maties cabinet and closset of rarities; […] Here I saw […] amongst the clocks, one that shew'd the rising and setting of the Sun in ye Zodiaq, the Sunn represented by a face and raies of gold, upon an azure skie, observing ye diurnal and annual motion, rising and setting behind a landscape of hills, the work of our famous Fromantel; and severall other rarities.
- 1697, “The Third Book of the Georgics”, in Virgil; John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. […], London: […] Jacob Tonson, […], OCLC 403869432, lines 245–248, page 103:
- [T]he cunning Leach ordains / In Summer's Sultry Heats (for then it reigns) / To feed the Females, e're the Sun ariſe, / Or late at Night, when Stars adorn the Skies.
- 1700, Mat[thew] Prior, “Carmen Seculare, for the Year 1700. To the King.”, in Poems on Several Occasions, 2nd edition, London: […] Jacob Tonson […], published 1709, OCLC 1103119849, page 164:
- Through the large Convex of the Azure Sky, / (For thither Nature caſts our common Eye) / Fierce Meteors ſhoot their arbitrary Light, / And Comets march with lawleſs Horror bright; […]
- 1843 December 19, Charles Dickens, “Stave Five. The End of It.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, London: Chapman & Hall, […], OCLC 55746801, pages 154–155:
- Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his head. No fog, no mist; clear, bright, jovial, stirring, cold; cold, piping for the blood to dance to; Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. Oh, glorious. Glorious!
- 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter IV, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803, page 40:
- So this was my future home, I thought! […] Backed by towering hills, the but faintly discernible purple line of the French boundary off to the southwest, a sky of palest Gobelin flecked with fat, fleecy little clouds, it in truth looked a dear little city; the city of one's dreams.
- With a descriptive word: the part of the sky which can be seen from a specific place or at a specific time; its climate, condition, etc.
- I lay back under a warm Texas sky.
- We’re not sure how long the cloudy skies will last.
- 1782, William Cowper, “Truth”, in Poems, London: […] J[oseph] Johnson, […], OCLC 1029672464, page 80:
- Yon ancient prude, whoſe wither'd features ſhow / She might be young ſome forty years ago, / […] / With boney and unkerchief'd neck defies / The rude inclemency of wintry ſkies, / And ſails with lappet-head and mincing airs / Duely at clink of bell, to morning pray'rs.
- 1797–1798, [Samuel Taylor Coleridge], “The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere”, in Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems, London: […] J. & A. Arch, […], published 1798, OCLC 1071922407, part II, stanza 7, page 13:
- All in a hot and copper sky / The bloody sun at noon, / Right up above the mast did stand, / No bigger than the moon.
- 1799–1805 (dates written), William Wordsworth, “Book I. Introduction.—Childhood and School-time.”, in The Prelude, or Growth of a Poet’s Mind; an Autobiographical Poem, London: Edward Moxon, […], published 1850, OCLC 1128699601, page 21:
- [T]he stars / Eastward were sparkling clear, and in the west / The orange sky of evening died away.
- 1842, Alfred Tennyson, “A Dream of Fair Women”, in Poems. […], volume I, London: Edward Moxon, […], OCLC 1008064829, stanza LXVII, page 201:
- With that sharp sound the white dawn's creeping beams, / Stol'n to my brain, dissolved the mystery / Of folded sleep. The captain of my dreams / Ruled in the eastern sky.
- 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, “Burglary”, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384, page 35:
- She wakened in sharp panic, bewildered by the grotesquerie of some half-remembered dream in contrast with the harshness of inclement fact, drowsily realising that since she had fallen asleep it had come on to rain smartly out of a shrouded sky.
- (chiefly literary and poetic, archaic) Usually preceded by the: the abode of God or the gods, angels, the souls of deceased people, etc.; heaven; also, powers emanating from heaven.
- This mortal has incurred the wrath of the skies.
- 1634 October 9 (first performance), [John Milton], H[enry] Lawes, editor, A Maske Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634: […] [Comus], London: […] [Augustine Matthews] for Hvmphrey Robinson, […], published 1637, OCLC 228715864; reprinted as Comus: […] (Dodd, Mead & Company’s Facsimile Reprints of Rare Books; Literature Series; no. I), New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1903, OCLC 1113942837, page 9:
- Sweet Queen of Parlie, Daughter of the Sphære, / So maist thou be tranſlated to the skies, / And give reſounding grace to all Heav'ns Harmonies.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book I”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554, lines 44-49:
- Him the Almighty Power / Hurld headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie / With hideous ruine and combuſtion down / To bottomleſs perdition, there to dwell / In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire, / Who durſt defie th' Omnipotent to Arms.
- 1709, Mat[thew] Prior, “Henry and Emma, […]”, in Poems on Several Occasions, 2nd edition, London: […] Jacob Tonson […], OCLC 1103119849, page 271:
- Mars ſmil'd and bow'd, the Cyprian Deity / Turn'd to the glorious Ruler of the Sky: / And Thou, She ſmiling ſaid, Great God of Days / And Verſe; behond my Deed; and ſing my Praiſe.
- 1720, Homer; [Alexander] Pope, transl., “Book XXII”, in The Iliad of Homer, volume VI, London: […] W[illiam] Bowyer, for Bernard Lintott […], OCLC 670734254, lines 218–220, page 13:
- The gazing Gods lean forward from the Sky: / To whom, while eager on the Chace they look, / The Sire of Mortals and Immortals ſpoke.
- 1731, Jonathan Swift, “Judas”, in Thomas Sheridan and John Nichols, editors, The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, […], volume VIII, new edition, London: […] J[oseph] Johnson, […], published 1801, OCLC 1184656746, page 113:
- By the just vengeance of incensed skies, / Poor bishop Judas late repenting dies.
- Ellipsis of
- 1668, George Etherege, She Wou’d if She Cou’d, a Comedy. […], London: […] [John Macocke] for H[enry] Herringman, […], OCLC 228724015, Act III, scene ii, page 39:
- [W]hy, / Brother, I have beſpoke Dinner, and engag'd / Mr. Rake-hell, the little ſmart Gentleman I have / Often promis'd thee to make thee acquainted / Withal, to bring a whole Bevy of Damſels / In Sky, and Pink, and Flame-colour'd Taffeta's.
- (mathematics, theoretical physics) The set of all lightlike lines (or directions) passing through a given point in space-time.
- Synonym: celestial sphere
- (obsolete, informal, rare) In an art gallery: the upper rows of pictures that cannot easily be seen; also, the place where such pictures are hung.
- (obsolete) A cloud. [13th–16th c.]
- skie (obsolete)
- (informal) To drink (a beverage) from a container without one's lips touching the container.
- (informal, dated) To hang (a picture on exhibition) near the top of a wall, where it cannot easily be seen; (by extension) to put (something) in an undesirable place.
- Antonym: floor
- 1883 December, M[ariana] G[riswold] Van Rensselaer, “George Fuller”, in The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, volume V (New Series; volume XXVII overall), number 2, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co.; London: F[rederick] Warne & Co., OCLC 4279873, page 227, column 1:
- The artists—I mean the younger brood, and not the Brother Academicians who "skied" his pictures—were the first and the most enthusiastic in his [George Fuller's] praise.
- (slang, dated) To toss (something) upwards; specifically, to flip (a coin).
- 1894, C[ornelis] Stoffel, “Preface”, in Studies in English, Written and Spoken: For the Use of Continental Students (First Series), Zutphen, Gelderland, Netherlands: W. J. Thieme & Co.; London: Luzac & Co., OCLC 459085826, footnote 1, page IX:
- In ‘skying’ a coin for the purpose of deciding a point at issue between two parties, two methods are in vogue: there is either the ‘slow torture’ of spinning the coin thrice, the decision to go against the tosser-up, if the other party, twice out of the three times, guesses right on which side the coin shall fall; or, the ‘sudden death’ method in which one toss is decisive; […]
- To clear (a high jump bar, hurdle, etc.) by a large margin.
- (ball games) To hit, kick, or throw (a ball) extremely high.
- (obsolete) To raise (the price of an item on auction, or the level of the bids generally) by bidding high.
- 1892, Robert Louis Stevenson; Lloyd Osbourne, “The Wreck of the ‘Flying Scud’”, in The Wrecker, London; Paris: Cassell & Company, […], OCLC 1085936561, page 146:
- All of a sudden he appeared as a third competitor, skied the Flying Scud with four fat bids of a thousand dollars each, and then as suddenly fled the field, remaining thenceforth (as before) a silent, interested spectator.
- ^ “skī(e, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ Compare “sky, n.1”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2021; “sky, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
- ^ “sky, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “sky, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
sky (neuter sky, plural and definite singular attributive sky)
From French jus, from Latin iūs (“gravy, broth, sauce”). The Danish word was probably borrowed via German Jus or Schü, pronounced IPA(key): [ˈʃyː], with a regular substitution of German /ʃ/ with Danish /sk/.
sky c (singular definite skyen, not used in plural form)
- To shun.
sky (plural skyes)
- The atmosphere or sky; that which lies above the ground.
- A cloud or mist (mass of water droplets).
- (rare, astronomy) A certain layout or part of the sky.
- (rare, physiology) Clouds in urine.
- “sky” in The Bokmål Dictionary.
- “sky” in The Nynorsk Dictionary.
- Swedish: sky
sky (plural skies)
- It's a fair braw sky we'v got the nicht. It's quite a beautiful sky we've got tonight.
- daylight (especially at dawn)
- A wis up afore the sky. I was up before sunrise.
- skyline, outline against the sky (especially of a hill)
- He saw the sky o a hill awa tae the west. He saw the outline of a hill in the west.
- (of weather) To clear up.
- To shade the eyes with the hand (so as to see better).
- To hold up to the light and examine.
|Declension of sky|
|1 Archaic. 2 Dated. See the appendix on Swedish verbs.|