(in the Scottish Highlands) a piece of music for the bagpipe, consisting of a series of variations on a basic theme, usually martial in character, but sometimes used as a dirge.

Origin of pibroch

1710–20; < Scots Gaelic piobaireachd piper music, equivalent to piobair piper (piob pipe1 + -air agent suffix ≪ Latin -ārius -ary) + -eachd noun suffix denoting quality or state
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Examples from the Web for pibroch

Historical Examples of pibroch

  • If I had thocht o't I wad hae brocht my kilts and my pibroch and a' that.'


    (AKA Hugh Foulis) Neil Munro

  • And as you can't compose another one, it may as well be the "Pibroch."

    My Austrian Love

    Maxime Provost

  • Gilian had the siubhal of the pibroch but begun when the blind man stopped him.

  • The pibroch said to have been composed by Helen MacGregor is still in existence.

  • And heard McDonald's guns in the valley and his pibroch on the hills.

    The Little Red Foot

    Robert W. Chambers

British Dictionary definitions for pibroch



a form of music for Scottish bagpipes, consisting of a theme and variations
a piece of such music

Word Origin for pibroch

C18: from Gaelic piobaireachd, from piobair piper
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 pibroch

kind of bagpipe music, 1719, from Gaelic piobaireachd, literally "piper's art," from piobair "a piper" (from piob "pipe," an English loan word; see pipe (n.1)) + -achd, suffix denoting function.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper