How to pronounce


Pronunciation and IPA:

  • American Pronunciation: "kairn" /kɛrn/
  • British Pronunciation: "kairn" /kɛːn/

Definition of


Cairn (noun): a stack of stones that marks a trail or a memorial, typically found in highland regions or along hiking trails.

Example: The hikers added a small stone to the cairn as they passed by.

Cairn (noun): a mound of stones or earth used as a burial monument in prehistoric times.

Example: The ancient cairns in the field revealed the rich history of the area.

Cairn (verb): to stack stones or create a mound as a marker or memorial.

Example: The travelers cairned the trail to help others find their way.

Cairn (noun): a heap of stones or rocks, often used as a boundary marker or to keep grazing animals contained.

Example: The farmer built a cairn to prevent the sheep from wandering onto the road.

What does it mean


The word "cairn" comes from the Scottish Gaelic term càrn, which has a similar meaning of a mound or pile of stones constructed as a memorial or landmark. Historically, cairns have been used since prehistoric times and are found throughout the world in various forms. They have served practical purposes as trail markers, as well as ceremonial or commemorative functions in different cultures. The usage of cairns in Scotland, often seen in barren highland landscapes, made the term prevalent in English.

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