cairn

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English[edit]

The Cairn of Gavrinis, Brittany
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Etymology[edit]

From Scots cairn, from Scottish Gaelic carn (heap of stones), from Proto-Celtic *karnos, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱerh₂- (horn).

Compare Old Irish carn, Welsh carn.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

cairn (plural cairns)

  1. A rounded or conical heap of stones erected by early inhabitants of the British Isles, apparently as a sepulchral monument.
    • 1826, Thomas Campbell, Glenara, in The Poetical Works of Thomas Campbell, page 105:
      "Now here let us place the gray stone of her cairn: / Why speak ye no word!"—said Glenara the stern.
  2. A pile of stones heaped up as a landmark, to guide travelers on land or at sea, or to arrest attention, as in surveying, or in leaving traces of an exploring party, etc.
  3. A cairn terrier.

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Translations[edit]

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