• (America, RP) IPA: /ˈmɪlki/

milky (comparative milkier, superlative milkiest)

  1. Resembling milk in color, consistency, smell, etc.; consisting of milk.
    • 1718, Alexander Pope (translator), The Iliad of Homer, London: Bernard Lintott, Book 16, line 780, p. 267,
      The Pails high-foaming with a milky Flood,
    • 1731, John Arbuthnot, An Essay concerning the Nature of Aliments, London: J. Tonson, Chapter 3, Prop. 3, p. 51,
      […] some Plants upon breaking their Vessels yield a milky Juice; others a Yellow of peculiar Tastes and Qualities.
    • 1928, Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness, Book One, Chapter Three, 3,
      […] the kind, slightly milky odour of cattle […]
    • 1980, J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians, Penguin, 1999, Chapter 2, pp. 37-38,
      She wheels her gaze from the wall on to me. The black irises are set off by milky whites as clear as a child’s.
  2. (color science, informal) Of the black in an image, appearing as dark gray rather than black.
  3. (of a drink) Containing (an especially large amount of) milk.
    milky tea; milky cocoa
    • 1959, Muriel Spark, Memento Mori (novel), New York: New Directions, 2000, Chapter One, p. 13,
      Mrs. Anthony, their daily housekeeper, brought in the milky coffee and placed it on the breakfast table.
    • 1962, Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (novel), New York: Norton, 1986, Chapter 5,
      […] we sat down […] to the old crack crack crack of eggs and the crackle crunch crunch of this black toast, very milky chai standing by in bolshy great morning mugs.
  4. (of grains) Containing a whitish liquid, juicy.
    • 1800, Robert Bloomfield, The Farmer’s Boy, London: Vernor & Hood et al., “Summer,” p. 30,
      Shot up from broad rank blades that droop below,
      The nodding WHEAT-EAR forms a graceful bow,
      With milky kernels starting full, weigh’d down,
      Ere yet the sun hath ting’d its head with brown;
    • 1914, Robert W. Chambers, The Hidden Children, New York: Appleton, Chapter 19, p. 575,
      […] the servile Eries were staggering out of the corn fields laden with ripe ears; and the famished soldiers were shouting and cursing at them and tearing the corn from their arms to gnaw the raw and milky grains.
    • 1981, Martin Morolong, “The Old-Style Calendar” in Bessie Head, Serowe: Village of the Rain Wind, London: Heinemann,
      The birds perch on the sorghum heads and try to eat them but the dry seed falls to the ground. The birds can only peck it out of the sorghum head when it is still milky and green.
  5. (colloquial) Cowardly.
    • 1607, William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, Act III, Scene 1,
      Has friendship such a faint and milky heart?
    • 1938, Graham Greene, Brighton Rock (novel), Vintage, 2002, Part , Chapter , pp. 45-46,
      ‘Who said there was going to be any killing?’ The lightning flared up and showed his tight shabby jacket, the bunch of soft hair at the nape. ‘I’ve got a date, that’s all. You be careful what you say, Spicer. You aren’t milky, are you?’
      ‘I’m not milky. You got me wrong, Pinkie. I just don’t want another killing […] ’
  6. (colloquial) Immature, childish.
    • 1651, William Davenant, Gondibert, London: John Holden, Book 2, Canto 3, Stanza 48, p. 101,
      Gone is your fighting Youth, whom you have bred
      From milkie Childhood to the years of bloud!
    • 1851, Charles Kingsley, Yeast (novel), London: John W. Parker, Chapter 1, p. 15,
      There were the everlasting hills around, even as they had grown for countless ages, beneath the still depths of the primeval chalk ocean, in the milky youth of this great English land.
    • 1882, Walter Besant, The Revolt of Man, London: Blackwood, Chapter 2, p. 45,
      “I am no milky, modest, obedient youth, Constance. […] ”
    • 1922, Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt (novel), New York: Harcourt Brace, Chapter 29, III, p. 337,
      He got so thoroughly into the jocund spirit that he didn’t much mind seeing Tanis drooping against the shoulder of the youngest and milkiest of the young men […]
  7. (obsolete) Producing milk, lactating.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, London: William Ponsonbie, Book One, Canto 8, p. 107,
      As great a noyse, as when in Cymbrian plaine
      An heard of Bulles, whom kindly rage doth sting,
      Doe for the milky mothers want complaine,
      And fill the fieldes with troublous bellowing,
    • 1648, Robert Herrick (poet), “A Country Life” in Hesperides, London: John Williams and Francis Eglesfield, p. 37,
      […] ye heare the Lamb by many a bleat
      Woo’d to come suck the milkie Teat:
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