Definition of mackerel sky in English:

mackerel sky


  • A sky dappled with rows of small white fleecy clouds, typically cirrocumulus, like the pattern on a mackerel's back.

    • ‘Cirrocumulus is sometimes referred to as a mackerel sky because of the shapes it takes on.’
    • ‘In 1895, Sidney O Addy explained this term in his book Household Tales: ‘Yorkshire farmers… call a sky which is flecked with many small clouds a ‘mackerel sky’: A mackerel sky / Is never long dry.’’
    • ‘Similarly, Wind at Sunset weaves yellows among the metallic blue nodes of a crepuscular, mackerel sky.’
    • ‘There was a darkening mackerel sky and the voices climbed into it and filled it, horizon to horizon.’
    • ‘Coming home today, the most extraordinary sky appeared as we crested a hill and came out of the woods - a mackerel sky, pearly and lit softly from above and below.’
    • ‘Here's one: a mackerel sky splits into mare's tails.’
    • ‘Seen from an aircraft high above, they look like a mackerel sky reflected in the surface of the water.’


mackerel sky

/ˈmak(ə)rəl ˌskī/