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noun Chiefly Literary.
  1. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for welkin

Historical Examples

  • I really had the facts from Welkin, who had them from his wife.

    Quaint Courtships


  • 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)

  • I wish you and mother could have seen the view on the top of Welkin Beacon.

    Follow My leader

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • "It's the writing of that fellow Welkin," said Smythe gruffly.

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

British Dictionary definitions for welkin


  1. 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

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