wel·​kin ˈwel-kən How to pronounce welkin (audio)
: the vault of the sky : firmament
the sun of heaven … made the western welkin blushWilliam Shakespeare
: the celestial abode of God or the gods : heaven
: the upper atmosphere

Did you know?

When it comes to welkin, the sky's the limit. This heavenly word has been used in English to refer to the vault of the sky for centuries, and it derives from an Old English word meaning "cloud." In current English, welkin is still flying high, and it is often teamed with the verb ring to suggest a loud noise or an exuberant expression of emotion, as in "the welkin rang with the sound of the orchestra" or "her hearty laugh made the welkin ring." These contemporary phrases echo an older use—the original words of a carol that once began "Hark, how all the welkin ring," which we now know as "Hark! The herald angels sing."

Examples of welkin in a Sentence

the movie has been so overhyped that one half expects its opening to be accompanied by the proverbial ringing of the welkin

Word History


Middle English, literally, cloud, from Old English wolcen; akin to Old High German wolkan cloud

First Known Use

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of welkin was in the 12th century


Dictionary Entries Near welkin

Cite this Entry

“Welkin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/welkin. Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

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