Definition of sky in English:



often the sky
  • 1The region of the atmosphere and outer space seen from the earth.

    ‘hundreds of stars were shining in the sky’
    mass noun ‘Dorcas had never seen so much sky’
    • ‘Today her dress was the pure color of a summer sky on a clear day.’
    • ‘The very end of the symphony is like a radiant summer sky at sunset.’
    • ‘Asteroids of that size, however, are exceedingly difficult to observe in the twilight sky with ground-based telescopes.’
    • ‘The midnight blue of the nighttime sky grew suddenly darker.’
    • ‘Now, the sun floated high above them in a clear, cloudless blue sky.’
    • ‘The air was polluted with cloudy gray skies.’
    • ‘He opened his eyes and scanned the cloudy skies.’
    • ‘I stare out at the inky black, star-studded midnight sky sometime after I'd left Mother.’
    • ‘I was outside, under the most brilliant azure sky that I had ever witnessed.’
    • ‘Flat, gray clouds filled the darkening sky above her as the town prepared for yet another rainfall.’
    • ‘She crossed her arms under her head and leaned back then, watching the sky darken slowly.’
    • ‘The moon shown as brightly as white silk in the midnight sky above his head.’
    • ‘What was once an empty backdrop of a starry sky was filled with a bright, silvery object.’
    • ‘Ereana thought about this as stars began to dot the darkening sky.’
    • ‘They both lay there, looking at the early morning sky through the window of the tour bus.’
    • ‘You can see the pyramid, you can see the dark, gray skies.’
    • ‘Then dozens of multi-coloured balloons were released into the sunny evening sky.’
    • ‘His cold gaze focused on the starless sky outside the small stone window.’
    • ‘Max just rolled his eyes and stared back up at the starlit sky.’
    • ‘Ajit woke up sweating and looked out of his window into the starless, black midnight sky.’
    the atmosphere, the stratosphere, the skies, airspace
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1literary Heaven; heavenly power.
      ‘the just vengeance of incensed skies’


[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • 1Hit (a ball) high into the air.

    ‘he skied his tee shot’
    • ‘Hooper himself was the victim of the worst fielding error of the match when Cullinan skied the ball towards deep mid-wicket.’
    • ‘After a long delay while Prokas was treated, Murray stepped up to sky the spot-kick over the bar.’
    • ‘Somehow he managed to get underneath the ball and skied it.’
    • ‘He skied the ball so high that it probably cleared the stand, never mind the cross bar.’
    • ‘Allen's swift 35 allowed McMahon to sky the final run and leave the Oxford side relieved after seeing the game almost slip away.’
    • ‘The visiting attack were bankrupt of ideas and resorted to skying balls in form distance.’
    • ‘Dennis Hill then skied a one-on-one, which he lived to regret as Colne enjoyed more possession and earned four corners in quick succession.’
    • ‘Mallan's 34 th-minute spot-kick was saved by Butter and the striker skied the rebound.’
    • ‘They saw that against Tampa Bay, when Rouen skied a punt to the 4-yard line and Bannister caught it before it hit the ground.’
    • ‘The ball looped kindly over my head after Hopkins skied her attempt at reaching one of Mauresmo's serves.’
    • ‘She skied two runs on the Thursday night before the race and said it was fine.’
    1. 1.1 Hang (a picture) very high on a wall, especially in an exhibition.
      ‘a painter's worst fear was that his picture would be skied’


  • the sky is the limit

    • informal There is practically no limit (to something such as a price that can be charged or the opportunities afforded to someone)

      ‘we can do anything—the sky's the limit’
      • ‘At only 41 years old, I think the sky is the limit for Pawlenty.’
      • ‘In the clubby confines of America's boardrooms, the sky is the limit.’
      • ‘Put him in a real racing car with proper infrastructure and the sky is the limit.’
      • ‘On the other hand, this does not mean that the sky is the limit as far as prices are concerned.’
      • ‘As far as bond prices are concerned the sky is the limit.’
      • ‘Once an individual has this frame of mind the sky is the limit for opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.’
      • ‘If these guys are this good at 18, and they stay together for longer than five minutes, then - to spout another cliché - the sky is the limit!’
      • ‘When it comes to pick-up games the sky is the limit.’
      • ‘‘I thought Bulgaria is a country that is getting its wheels off the ground and the sky is the limit,’ he said.’
      • ‘Really, for the tobacco firms, the sky is the limit.’
  • to the skies

    • Very highly; enthusiastically.

      ‘he wrote to his sister praising Lizzie to the skies’
      • ‘From the beginning Brookmyre seems to have been praised to the skies.’
      • ‘Everybody was praising young Michael to the skies, even though he missed a hat-trick in the first half!’
      • ‘This, after all, is the man who can praise public service workers to the skies and then, almost in the next breath, dismiss them as wreckers.’
      • ‘NATO as we know it is dead, and we have no idea what will follow - so we praise it to the skies.’
      • ‘Both films were praised to the skies; and indeed, they are very accomplished.’
      • ‘This commission will be praised to the skies in the Human Rights Commission and laughed at in the families of New Zealand.’
      • ‘She hated them at times, and once she had praised their names to the skies for letting her live again.’
      • ‘Ishan has spent the good part of half an hour praising Matt to the skies.’
      • ‘We're going to write lots of articles praising him to the skies.’
      • ‘Of course, it helped that the older man spent most of his time praising Ryan to the skies.’
      effusively, profusely, very highly, very enthusiastically, unreservedly, without reserve, ardently, fervently
      View synonyms
  • under the open sky

    • Out of doors.

      ‘an ancient Greek theatre under the open sky’
      • ‘People strolled through, into the cool courtyard under the open sky.’
      • ‘They had been there three days already, saving the inflated price of the hostels by sleeping out under the open sky on a concrete beach.’
      • ‘It was tiresome, traveling under the open sky, and she was looking forward to a good night's rest.’
      • ‘Citizens gather under the open sky on a Sunday in spring to pass laws and elect officials by a show of hands.’
      • ‘Should the weather have been warmer, we would have delighted in sleeping under the open sky lulled to sleep by the voice of nature.’
      • ‘That's why they are living outside under the open sky.’
      • ‘Hawaii Big Island hosts open market places with hundreds of merchants selling their hand crafted items under the open sky.’
      • ‘"Truly it has been a joy to be outside under the open sky today," the bard said as their party rode out of the Lord Johen's forests.’
      • ‘Promptly after sunset, the pilgrims travel through the mountain pass of Muzdalifa, where they spend the night under the open sky.’
      • ‘The knight felt free under the open sky, and let out a whoop of joy as he rode over the grassy, frost-glazed hill.’


Middle English (also in the plural denoting clouds), from Old Norse ský ‘cloud’. The verb dates from the early 19th century.