Middle English Dictionary Entry

welken n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

A cloud [a few exx. with apparently uninfl. plurals could be construed as sg. coll.].
The sky regarded as the region of weather phenomena, the flight of birds, etc.; the upper air; also in fig. context;—also pl. [quot. a1400]; ?also, atmospheric conditions, the weather [quots. c1400(c1378) & perh. c1475].
(a) The dome of the heavens, extending from horizon to horizon, in which stars, planets, comets, etc. are apparent, the firmament; the heavens, the skies;—also pl.; under (the) ~, out of doors, outside; also, anywhere [quot. c1450]; (b) a cosmic elementary, planetary, or celestial sphere; also, the totality of the concentric spheres beyond the elementary region, including the primum mobile, as perceived in the motions of heavenly bodies from a terrestrial point of view; also [quot. a1425], ?the sphere of the fixed stars; ?the primum mobile; ?the crystalline sphere; ~ wente, walkenes turne, the daily course of the stars, the turning of the heavens; this middel walkenes, of this earthly region, regarded as midway between heaven and hell; (c) in prov. expressions and conventional comparisons.