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[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.
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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.

  • Fearful was the din of the shrieks and shouts which rent the welkin.

    In the Wilds of Africa W.H.G. Kingston
  • Alf Reesling proposed three cheers for President Wilson, and again the welkin rang.

    Anderson Crow, Detective George Barr McCutcheon
  • Boothblacks and newsboys were among them, and they made the welkin ring with their shouts.

    Halsey & Co. H. K. Shackleford
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • "It's the writing of that fellow welkin," said Smythe gruffly.

  • Gay cavaliers on horseback, and maidens prancing by their side, made the welkin ring with loud and mirthful discourse.

  • First, there was the fact that this welkin went for long walks.

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
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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
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