[ kairn ]
See synonyms for cairn on
  1. a heap of stones set up as a landmark, monument, tombstone, etc.

Origin of cairn

First recorded in 1525–35; earlier carn, from Scots Gaelic: “pile of stones”; perhaps akin to horn
  • Also carn [kahrn] /kɑrn/ .

Other words from cairn

  • cairned, adjective
  • cairny, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cairn in a sentence

  • Mr. Carn talks of bleeding if she does not recover quickly, but she is positively resolved not to submit to that.

  • Not until the granite pillar of the distant Gulf Rock opened up beyond Carn du was it necessary to turn the boat's head seawards.

    The Pillar of Light | Louis Tracy
  • So this is what they lost by death at the Hostel, a man for every stone that is (now) in Carn Lecca.

  • The present meaning of the root Carn- is March, just as it is in U-krain.

    Opuscula | Robert Gordon Latham
  • He peered over the edge of the Carn, scanning the water, a hundred feet below him, for the rock which Abe had described.

    Major Vigoureux | A. T. Quiller-Couch

British Dictionary definitions for cairn


/ (kɛən) /

  1. a mound of stones erected as a memorial or marker

  2. Also called: cairn terrier a small rough-haired breed of terrier originally from Scotland

Origin of cairn

C15: from Gaelic carn

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