Definition of sky in US English:



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

    ‘hundreds of stars shining in the sky’
    ‘Jillson had never seen so much sky’
    • ‘The moon shown as brightly as white silk in the midnight sky above his head.’
    • ‘Ereana thought about this as stars began to dot the darkening sky.’
    • ‘I stare out at the inky black, star-studded midnight sky sometime after I'd left Mother.’
    • ‘His cold gaze focused on the starless sky outside the small stone window.’
    • ‘Today her dress was the pure color of a summer sky on a clear day.’
    • ‘Then dozens of multi-coloured balloons were released into the sunny evening sky.’
    • ‘He opened his eyes and scanned the cloudy skies.’
    • ‘Asteroids of that size, however, are exceedingly difficult to observe in the twilight sky with ground-based telescopes.’
    • ‘Now, the sun floated high above them in a clear, cloudless blue sky.’
    • ‘They both lay there, looking at the early morning sky through the window of the tour bus.’
    • ‘What was once an empty backdrop of a starry sky was filled with a bright, silvery object.’
    • ‘The air was polluted with cloudy gray skies.’
    • ‘Max just rolled his eyes and stared back up at the starlit sky.’
    • ‘Flat, gray clouds filled the darkening sky above her as the town prepared for yet another rainfall.’
    • ‘The midnight blue of the nighttime sky grew suddenly darker.’
    • ‘The very end of the symphony is like a radiant summer sky at sunset.’
    • ‘You can see the pyramid, you can see the dark, gray skies.’
    • ‘Ajit woke up sweating and looked out of his window into the starless, black midnight sky.’
    • ‘She crossed her arms under her head and leaned back then, watching the sky darken slowly.’
    • ‘I was outside, under the most brilliant azure sky that I had ever witnessed.’
    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’
    • ‘He skied the ball so high that it probably cleared the stand, never mind the cross bar.’
    • ‘The ball looped kindly over my head after Hopkins skied her attempt at reaching one of Mauresmo's serves.’
    • ‘Allen's swift 35 allowed McMahon to sky the final run and leave the Oxford side relieved after seeing the game almost slip away.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The visiting attack were bankrupt of ideas and resorted to skying balls in form distance.’
    • ‘Somehow he managed to get underneath the ball and skied it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mallan's 34 th-minute spot-kick was saved by Butter and the striker skied the rebound.’
    • ‘After a long delay while Prokas was treated, Murray stepped up to sky the spot-kick over the bar.’
    • ‘She skied two runs on the Thursday night before the race and said it was fine.’
    • ‘Hooper himself was the victim of the worst fielding error of the match when Cullinan skied the ball towards deep mid-wicket.’
    1. 1.1 Hang (a picture) very high on a wall, especially in an exhibition.


  • to the skies

    • Very highly; enthusiastically.

      ‘he wrote to his sister praising Lizzie to the skies’
      • ‘NATO as we know it is dead, and we have no idea what will follow - so we praise it to the skies.’
      • ‘From the beginning Brookmyre seems to have been praised to the skies.’
      • ‘Of course, it helped that the older man spent most of his time praising Ryan 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.’
      • ‘Everybody was praising young Michael to the skies, even though he missed a hat-trick in the first half!’
      • ‘We're going to write lots of articles praising him to the skies.’
      • ‘Ishan has spent the good part of half an hour praising Matt to the skies.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She hated them at times, and once she had praised their names to the skies for letting her live again.’
      effusively, profusely, very highly, very enthusiastically, unreservedly, without reserve, ardently, fervently
      View synonyms
  • the sky's the limit

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

      • ‘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!’
      • ‘Really, for the tobacco firms, 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.’
      • ‘Put him in a real racing car with proper infrastructure and the sky is the limit.’
      • ‘At only 41 years old, I think the sky is the limit for Pawlenty.’
      • ‘When it comes to pick-up games the sky is the limit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On the other hand, this does not mean that the sky is the limit as far as prices are concerned.’
      • ‘In the clubby confines of America's boardrooms, the sky is the limit.’


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