Entries linking to skylight
mid-13c. (c. 1200 as a surname), skie, sci, skei, "a cloud," from Old Norse sky "cloud," from Proto-Germanic *skeujam "cloud, cloud cover" (source also of Old English sceo (Middle English sceu) "the sky, the heavens," 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."
The meaning "upper regions of the air; region of clouds, wind, and rain; the heavens, the firmament" is attested from c. 1300; it 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 (c. 1300), originally "the clouds."
Sky-high "as high as the sky" is from 1812; optimistic phrase the sky's the limit is attested from 1908. Sky-writing is from 1922. Sky-diving "sport or activity of jumping from an aircraft and free-falling before landing by parachute" is attested from 1959 (sky-diver by 1961; sky-dive (v.) by 1965).
"brightness, radiant energy, that which makes things visible," Old English leht (Anglian), leoht (West Saxon), "light, daylight; spiritual illumination," from Proto-Germanic *leukhtam (source also of Old Saxon lioht, Old Frisian liacht, Middle Dutch lucht, Dutch licht, Old High German lioht, German Licht, Gothic liuhaþ "light"), from PIE root *leuk- "light, brightness."
The -gh- was an Anglo-French scribal attempt to render the Germanic hard -h- sound, which has since disappeared from this word. The figurative spiritual sense was in Old English; the sense of "mental illumination" is first recorded mid-15c. Meaning "something used for igniting" is from 1680s. Meaning "a consideration which puts something in a certain view" (as in in light of) is from 1680s. Short for traffic light from 1938. Quaker use is by 1650s; New Light/Old Light in church doctrine also is from 1650s. Meaning "person eminent or conspicuous" is from 1590s. A source of joy or delight has been the light of (someone's) eyes since Old English:
Ðu eart dohtor min, minra eagna leoht [Juliana].
Phrases such as according to (one's) lights "to the best of one's natural or acquired capacities" preserve an older sense attested from 1520s. To figuratively stand in (someone's) light is from late 14c. To see the light "come into the world" is from 1680s; later as "come to full realization" (1812). The rock concert light-show is from 1966. To be out like a light "suddenly or completely unconscious" is from 1934.
updated on December 12, 2022