AskDefine | Define welkin

The Collaborative Dictionary

Welkin \Wel"kin\, n. [OE. welken, welkene, welkne, wolcne, weolcne, AS. wolcen, pl. wolcnu, a cloud; akin to D. wolk, OFries. wolken, OS. wolkan, G. wolke, OHG. wolchan, and probably to G. welk withered, OHG. welc moist, Russ. & OSlav. vlaga moisture, Lith. vilgyti to moisten.] The visible regions of the air; the vault of heaven; the sky. [1913 Webster] On the welkne shoon the sterres lyght. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] The fair welkin foully overcast. --Spenser. [1913 Webster] When storms the welkin rend. --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster] Note: Used adjectively by Shakespeare in the phase, "Your welkin eye," with uncertain meaning. [1913 Webster]

Word Net

welkin n : the apparent surface of the imaginary sphere on which celestial bodies appear to be projected [syn: celestial sphere, sphere, empyrean, firmament, heavens, vault of heaven]

Moby Thesaurus

Caelus, aerosphere, air, atmosphere, azure, biosphere, blue sky, caelum, canopy, canopy of heaven, cerulean, cope, ecosphere, empyrean, ether, firmament, gaseous envelope, heaven, heavens, hyaline, lift, lifts, noosphere, sky, starry heaven, the blue, the blue serene, vault, vault of heaven



Old English wolcen; cognate with Dutch wolk and German Wolke ‘cloud’.


  1. The sky, the upper air; the heavens.
    • c1388, Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales,
      This day in mirth and revel to dispend
      Till on the welkin shone the starres bright
  2. firmament

Related terms


(archaic)'' the sky, the upper air, the heavens

External links

Welkin may refer to:
  • Welkin - An archaic term for the vault of heaven; the sky, deriving from the Middle English 'welken', a cloud. The term can also mean the apparent surface of the imaginary sphere on which celestial bodies appear to be projected.
  • Welkin Lords, a set of ten whale lords in Fengshen Yanyi
  • Westland Welkin, a British twin-engine heavy fighter


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