from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of cairn.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • He grew to wait and dread their coming, never passing the twin cairns without a shudder.

    In a Far Country

  • Now their cairns are all that remain, protective burial mounds that keep the trows away and serve as a reminder that no one should pass their boundary.

    “Heroes of the Valley” by Jonathan Stroud (Hyperion, 2009) « The BookBanter Blog

  • Jodi was mapping as they went along, and marking their backtrail with carefully inconspicuous "cairns" composed of no more than three or four pebbles.


  • The central space was probably occupied with a pole, firmly fixed at its base in the 'well,' and kept in position by suitable stays, resting partly on the stone 'cairns' already described, partly in wooden sockets fixed into the log-pavement, and partly on the inner wall of the tower.

    The Clyde Mystery a Study in Forgeries and Folklore

  • But, although the localities referred to possess an interest, they are exceeded, in this respect, by a number of "cairns," by which the summits of several hills, or rising grounds, are topped.

    Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland Volume 17

  • Burial cairns were opened to release dead souls and air out the interiors of their tombs.

    Donna Henes: Doing Death Before it Does Us

  • Building a lasting moment to the dead for the living may well be an important factor, and also rooting people in with landscape traditions, given the proximity to the neolithic and bronze age cairns.

    Viking chieftain's burial ship excavated in Scotland after 1,000 years

  • Two centuries ago the people of the farms and fishing villages and hamlets had waited for him in fear on this coastline, they had built their cairns and lookouts and beacons, they had dreaded invasion, but, two centuries ago, he had not come.

    Margaret Drabble | Trespassing

  • Cloud shadows scud across the splashy and drier ground where prehistoric circles, tumuli, cairns and reaves subside into the rough vegetation and where attention focuses on the few gnarled and wind-pruned hawthorns.

    Country diary: North Hill, Cornwall

  • Suddenly the ground gaped, the headstones fell, the cairns crumbled.

    St Berthold's Feast Day. . . .


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