[ Scots 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

First recorded in 1645–55; Scots, metathetic variant of burgh
  • Also Obsolete, brough .

Words Nearby broch Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use broch in a sentence

  • It occurs within the pentacle symbol engraved on a pebble from the broch of Burrian, Orkney.

    Archaic England | Harold Bayley
  • The hunter shouted out in his dream if there was any one in the broch, to let him in for the Holy One's sake.

  • She is not yet dressed and wears a tea-gown, loose, with many folds: vieux rose broch, salmon-coloured plush and old lace.

    Majesty | Louis Couperus
  • The Scottish broch-people, associated in tradition with the Picts, were notorious for their piratic habits.

    Ancient Man in Britain | Donald A. (Donald Alexander) Mackenzie
  • Probably the many hut circles which surround this broch are of later date and were formed from its ruins.

    British Castles | Charles H. Ashdown

British Dictionary definitions for broch


/ (brɒk, brɒx) /

  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

Origin of 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