Meaning of SKY in English

sky S2 W2 /skaɪ/ BrE AmE noun ( plural skies )

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old Norse ; Origin: 'cloud' ]

1 . [singular, uncountable] the space above the earth where clouds and the sun and stars appear:

The sky grew dark, and a cold rain began to fall.

A shooting star sped across the night sky.

in the sky

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

2 . skies [plural] a word meaning ‘sky’, used especially when describing the weather or what the sky looks like in a place:

a land of blue skies and warm sunshine

The skies were overcast, and it was chilly and damp.

3 . the sky’s the limit spoken used to say that there is no limit to what someone can achieve, spend, win etc:

Francis believes the sky’s the limit for the young goalkeeper.

⇨ pie in the sky at ↑ pie (4), ⇨ praise somebody/something to the skies at ↑ praise 1 (1)

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meanings 1 & 2)


▪ blue

The sky was blue and the sun was shining.

▪ grey British English , gray AmE:

Rain was starting to fall from the grey sky.

▪ dark/black

Fireworks burst up into the dark sky.

▪ cloudy/dull/overcast (=with clouds)

Cloudy skies were forecast.

▪ bright/clear/cloudless (=without clouds)

The sun rose higher in the cloudless sky.

▪ azure literary (=bright blue)

The sun shone out of a clear azure sky.

▪ leaden/lowering literary (=with a lot of grey cloud)

The leaden skies cleared and the sun came out.

▪ a starry sky (=with a lot of stars)

We had dinner on the terrace under a beautiful starry sky.

▪ the darkening sky (=becoming darker)

Benjamin stared up at the darkening sky.

▪ the lightening sky (=becoming lighter)

A plane flew across the lightening sky.

▪ the night/evening/morning sky

The moon is the brightest object visible in the night sky.

▪ the summer/winter sky

Her eyes were as blue as the summer sky.

▪ the open sky (=a large area of sky)

They lay on the ground under the open sky.

▪ a big sky (=a sky that looks large)

Montana is still a land of big skies.

■ verbs

▪ the sky darkens

The sky darkened and thunder rolled in from the west.

▪ the sky clouds over (=clouds appear)

The sky was beginning to cloud over.

▪ the sky clears (=the clouds disappear)

By dawn the sky had cleared.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.