sky·​lark | \ ˈskī-ˌlärk How to pronounce skylark (audio) \

Definition of skylark

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a common largely brown Old World lark (Alauda arvensis) noted for its song especially as uttered in flight
2 : any of various birds resembling the skylark


skylarked; skylarking; skylarks

Definition of skylark (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to run up and down the rigging of a ship in sport
2 : frolic, sport

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Other Words from skylark


skylarker noun

Did You Know?


As far as we know, people were skylarking at sea before they were larking on land. Skylarking was originally a term used by seamen for their scampering about on the rigging of ships. The first known use of the word in print is from 1809, though the term was probably part of the sailor's vernacular before that. Lark, meaning "to engage in harmless fun or mischief," isn't attested in writing until 1813. Whether or not the meanings of these words came about from the song and/or behavior of birds is uncertain. One theory of the verb lark is that it began as a misinterpretation of the verb lake, which in British dialect means "to play or frolic."

Examples of skylark in a Sentence

Verb couldn't resist the temptation to skylark as commencement ceremonies came to a close he spends his time joking and skylarking, but his brother is serious and industrious
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni is home to a variety of wildlife, and surveys conducted in 2017 noted skylarks, ospreys, and peregrine falcons—among other birds—nesting on the base. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The F-35 Runs Into Another Expensive Problem: Birds," 15 May 2019 Numerous interlacing trails lead to the top, across meadows where skylarks breed. Brian J. Cantwell, The Seattle Times, "Get a broad view of Scotland from Edinburgh’s Arthur’s Seat," 10 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skylark.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of skylark


circa 1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1771, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of skylark was circa 1680

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Cite this Entry

“Skylark.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for skylark



English Language Learners Definition of skylark

: a small bird of Europe, Asia, and northern Africa that sings while it flies


sky·​lark | \ ˈskī-ˌlärk How to pronounce skylark (audio) \

Kids Definition of skylark

: a European lark noted for its song

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