Capitol vs. capital? What's the difference?


[wel-kin] /ˈwɛl kɪn/
noun, Chiefly Literary.
the sky; the vault of heaven.
Origin of welkin
before 900; Middle English welken(e), Old English welcn, variant of wolcen cloud, sky; cognate with German Wolke cloud Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for welkin
Historical Examples
  • As night advanced, the scud blew wildly across the welkin, and some time after sunset floods of rain descended.

  • All right, then; that letter I wrote is a shirt, and the welkin's the ruffle on it.

    Tom Sawyer Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Alf Reesling proposed three cheers for President Wilson, and again the welkin rang.

    Anderson Crow, Detective George Barr McCutcheon
  • "It's the writing of that fellow welkin," said Smythe gruffly.

  • Sit down and let us number them, Ten times one hundred in all; Let us hoist the pennants of war, The welkin rings with the tumult.

    The Fijians Basil Thomson
  • First, there was the fact that this welkin went for long walks.

  • She made the welkin ring with her merry laugh, as she took the wrapping paper from a dusty bottle of claret.

    A Summer's Outing Carter H. Harrison
  • Fearful was the din of the shrieks and shouts which rent the welkin.

    In the Wilds of Africa W.H.G. Kingston
  • Gay cavaliers on horseback, and maidens prancing by their side, made the welkin ring with loud and mirthful discourse.

  • Boothblacks and newsboys were among them, and they made the welkin ring with their shouts.

    Halsey & Co. H. K. Shackleford
British Dictionary definitions for welkin


(archaic) the sky, heavens, or upper air
Word Origin
Old English wolcen, welcen; related to Old Frisian wolken, Old Saxon, Old High German wolcan
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for welkin

"sky" (poetic), Old English wolcen "cloud," from Proto-Germanic *welk- (cf. Old Saxon wolkan, Old Frisian wolken, Middle Dutch wolke, Dutch wolk, Old High German wolka, German Wolke "cloud," from PIE *welgh- "wet" (cf. Lithuanian vilgyti "to moisten," Old Church Slavonic viaga "moisture," Czech vlhky "damp").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for welkin

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for welkin

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for welkin