from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A very tall building.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An imaginary sail, set along with moon-sails, sky-gazers, and the like, jokingly assumed to be carried in the days when sail-power was the sole reliance at sea, and United States ships had the reputation of being the fastest afloat.
  • noun A triangular skysail.
  • noun A ball or missile sent high up in the air; anything which reaches or extends far into the sky.
  • noun A very tall office-building such as those first erected in various cities of the United States in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Originally from ten to fifteen stories in height, they are now occasionally built with forty stories and more.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Naut.), Rare, obsolete, Slang or Colloq., obsolete, Slang or Colloq., obsolete, Slang or Colloq., Slang or Colloq. A skysail of a triangular form.
  • noun Slang or Colloq., Slang or Colloq. A very tall building, especially one over 20 stories high.
  • noun Slang or Colloq. Hence, anything usually large, high, or excessive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A very tall building with a great number of floors.
  • noun archaic A small sail atop a mast of a ship.
  • noun figuratively Anything very tall or high.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a very tall building with many stories


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • The Chrysler Building is still my favourite skyscraper.

    January 21, 2007

  • Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

    November 27, 2007

  • "'...Dryad is in sight from the masthead, sir, two points off the starboard bow. At least, we think it is Dryad,' he added, quite ruining the effect...

    "'What is she wearing?'

    "'Skyscrapers, sir.'

    "That was decisive. No man-of-war would be flying out from the land, cracking on to that perilous degree, unless she were the Dryad."

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission, 171

    February 13, 2008

  • Do skyscrapers ever grow tired

    Of holding themselves up high?

    Do they ever shiver on frosty nights

    With their tops against the sky?

    Do they feel lonely sometimes

    Because they have grown so tall?

    Do they ever wish they could lie right down

    And never get up at all?

    - Rachel Field, 'Skyscrapers'.

    November 16, 2008