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menhir

[men-hir]
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noun Archaeology.
  1. an upright monumental stone standing either alone or with others, as in an alignment, found chiefly in Cornwall and Brittany.
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Origin of menhir

1830–40; < Breton phrase men hir, equivalent to men stone + hir long
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for menhir

Historical Examples

  • Two steps took me to the menhir, and I drew my seax that I might do as he asked me.

    A Prince of Cornwall

    Charles W. Whistler

  • And I saw that in a flash, even as he reeled back from the menhir and staggered.

    A Prince of Cornwall

    Charles W. Whistler

  • She feared the menhir no longer: its power over her was gone.

  • The largest known is the Menhir of Locmariaquer in Morbihan, now fallen and broken.

  • Thus it is believed in many localities that a "menhir" in the neighbourhood turns on its axis at midnight.


British Dictionary definitions for menhir

menhir

noun
  1. a single standing stone, often carved, dating from the middle Bronze Age in the British Isles and from the late Neolithic Age in W Europe
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Word Origin

C19: from Breton men stone + hir long
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for menhir

n.

"upright monumental stone," 1834, literally "long stone," from French menhir (19c.), from Breton men "stone" + hir "long," from PIE *se-ro-, from root *se- "long, late" (see soiree). Cognate with Welsh maen hir, Cornish medn hir.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper