[Scot. brokh, bruhkh]
  1. a circular stone tower built around the beginning of the Christian era, having an inner and an outer wall, found on the Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, the Hebrides, and the mainland of Scotland.

Origin of broch

1645–55; Scots, metathetic variant of burgh Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for broch

Historical Examples of broch

  • "I can leave it at Broch anyway," he said to Signy as he stowed the bag aboard.

    Viking Boys

    Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby

  • The term "broch" has hitherto been used in a general sense in these pages.

  • One had bundled herself into a broch shawl and "run over" hatless.


    Gertrude Atherton

  • So far the “broch,” or hill fort, was not unlike other hill forts and brochs, of which there are hundreds in Scotland.

  • The rest of that day was spent at Broch—delightfully spent, we know, since the Yarl was host.

    Viking Boys

    Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby

British Dictionary definitions for broch


  1. (in Scotland) a circular dry-stone tower large enough to serve as a fortified home; they date from the Iron Age and are found esp in the north and the islands

Word Origin for broch

C17: from Old Norse borg; related to Old English burh settlement, burgh
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 broch

prehistoric stone tower of the Scottish Highland and isles, 1650s, from Scottish broch, from Old Norse borg "castle," cognate with Old English burh (see borough).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper