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[skahy] /skaɪ/
noun, plural skies. Often, skies (for defs 1–4).
the region of the clouds or the upper air; the upper atmosphere of the earth:
airplanes in the sky; cloudy skies.
the heavens or firmament, appearing as a great arch or vault.
the supernal or celestial heaven:
They looked to the sky for help.
the climate:
the sunny skies of Italy.
Obsolete. a cloud.
verb (used with object), skied or skyed, skying.
Informal. to raise, throw, or hit aloft or into the air.
Informal. to hang (a painting) high on a wall, above the line of vision.
Verb phrases
sky up, Falconry. (of prey, when flushed) to fly straight upward.
out of a / the clear sky, without advance notice or warning; abruptly:
An old beau phoned her out of a clear sky.
Also, out of a/the clear blue sky.
to the skies, with lavishness or enthusiasm; extravagantly:
to praise someone to the skies.
Also, to the sky.
Origin of sky
1175-1225; Middle English < Old Norse skȳ cloud, cognate with Old English scēo cloud
Related forms
skyless, adjective
skylike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for out of a clear blue sky


noun (pl) skies
(sometimes pl) the apparently dome-shaped expanse extending upwards from the horizon that is characteristically blue or grey during the day, red in the evening, and black at night related adjectives celestial empyrean
outer space, as seen from the earth
(often pl) weather, as described by the appearance of the upper air: sunny skies
the source of divine power; heaven
(informal) the highest level of attainment: the sky's the limit
to the skies, highly; extravagantly
verb skies, skying, skied
(rowing) to lift (the blade of an oar) too high before a stroke
(transitive) (informal) to hit (a ball) high in the air
Derived Forms
skylike, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse skӯ; related to Old English scio cloud, Old Saxon skio, Old Norse skjār transparent skin
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 out of a clear blue sky



c.1200, "a cloud," from Old Norse sky "cloud," from Proto-Germanic *skeujam "cloud, cloud cover" (cf. Old English sceo, Old Saxon scio "cloud, region of the clouds, sky;" Old High German scuwo, Old English scua, Old Norse skuggi "shadow;" Gothic skuggwa "mirror"), from PIE root *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal" (see hide (n.1)).

Meaning "upper regions of the air" is attested from c.1300; replaced native heofon in this sense (see heaven). In Middle English, the word can still mean both "cloud" and "heaven," as still in the skies, originally "the clouds." Sky-high is from 1812; phrase the sky's the limit is attested from 1908. Sky-dive first recorded 1965; sky-writing is from 1922.



"to raise or throw toward the skies," 1802, from sky (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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out of a clear blue sky in Science
The atmosphere, as seen from a given point on the Earth's surface. The sky appears to be blue because the wavelengths associated with blue light are scattered more easily than those that are associated with the other colors.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for out of a clear blue sky



  1. To hit or kick or throw a ball very high: see me skying out there?/ This time he skied the punt right over the end zone (1909+ Sports)
  2. To jump high in order to slam-dunk the ball; air (1980s+ Basketball)

Related Terms

pie in the sky

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with out of a clear blue sky

out of a clear blue sky

Also,out of the blue. Without warning, suddenly, as in Her offer to help us with the fundraising came out of a clear blue sky, or We got a check from Aunt Ruby out of the blue. These metaphoric terms allude to something dropping unexpectedly from the sky. [ Late 1800s ]
Also see: out of nowhere


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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