cateran

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Scottish Gaelic ceatharn (troop), ceathairne (peasantry, yeomanry).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

cateran (plural caterans)

  1. (historical) A Highlander working as a professional fighter; a mercenary attached to a Scottish clan.
    • 1932, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sunset Song:
      And the great-grandson of Cospatric, he joined the English against the cateran Wallace […].
    • 2009, John Sadler, Glencoe, Amberley 2009, p. 41:
      They found the hire of lawyers more cost-effective than the maintenance of caterans.
  2. A freebooter, marauder.

Translations[edit]