Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A series of variations on a martial theme or traditional dirge for the highland bagpipes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A series of musical variations for the bagpipes, usually martial or funerary in nature.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A Highland air, suited to the particular passion which the musician would either excite or assuage; generally applied to those airs that are played on the bagpipe before the Highlanders when they go out to battle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A wild, irregular kind of music, peculiar to the Scottish Highlands, performed upon the bagpipe.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. martial music with variations; to be played by bagpipes

Etymologies

Scottish Gaelic pìobaireachd, pipe music, from pìobair, piper, from pìob, pipe, from Middle Irish píp, from Medieval Latin pīpa, from Vulgar Latin *pīpa; see pipe.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Scottish Gaelic pìobaireachd ("act of playing the bagpipes"), from pìobaire ("piper") + -achd abstract noun suffix. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To this opinion Dr. Beattie has given his suffrage, in that following elegant passage: -- 'A pibroch is a species of tune, peculiar, I think, to the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland.

    The Lady of the Lake

  • A pibroch would cry for the wounded man but I needed more - I needed something tougher.

    They didn’t read Pitchfork or Stereogum or Gorilla vs. Bear or Hipster Runoff

  • British MP George Galloway, a supporter of the anti-Israeli boycott movement, in his relentless pibroch against the Jewish state compares the Palestinians to the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • Tracie #57: I thought it was well known that the preferred musical instrument in hell was the pibroch.

    Making Light: The new new TSA regulations

  • The last, nevertheless, again grasped his instrument, and the pibroch of the clan yet poured its expiring notes over the Clan Chattan, while the dying minstrel had breath to inspire it.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • “Nay, then, I will don thy buff coat and cap of steel, and walk with thy swashing step, and whistling thy pibroch of ‘Broken Bones at Loncarty’; and if they take me for thee, there dare not four of them come near me.”

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • Oliver at last relieved his host by swaggering off, imitating as well as he could the sturdy step and outward gesture of his redoubted companion, and whistling a pibroch composed on the rout of the Danes at

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • The wild wailings of the pibroch were heard at times, interchanged with the drums and fifes, which beat the Dead March.

    Chronicles of the Canongate

  • The bagpipe-player in the centre dropped his melancholy eyes, filled with the reflections of the forests and the lakes, in profound inattention, while men were being exterminated around him, and seated on a drum, with his pibroch under his arm, played the Highland airs.

    Les Miserables

  • However, a few wee drams and a CD of pibroch music helps me get over it.

    Page 3

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Comments

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  • "...all around us, under the orderly bucolic antiphonies of drunken argument, I could hear swelling wild, swift, and ominous the pibroch of hysteria."

    - W.M. Spackman, Heyday

    December 22, 2011

  • See piobaireachd.

    October 31, 2007