from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Highlander working as a professional fighter; a mercenary attached to a Scottish clan.
  • n. A freebooter, marauder.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A Highland robber: a kind of irregular soldier.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A kern; a Highland or Irish irregular soldier.
  • n. A Highland freebooter or reaver.


From Scottish Gaelic ceatharn ("troop"), ceathairne ("peasantry, yeomanry"). (Wiktionary)


  • What I found out about the name is that it's from the Gaelic word, "cateran" (or something like that), but I do remember that it means Highland Robber. Recent Updates

  • It was the fault of yon Highland cateran, whom it is my curse to be cumbered with; but he shall go back to his glens tomorrow, or taste the tolbooth of the burgh.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • “Clear the way, cateran,” said the armourer, in the deep stern voice which corresponded with the breadth of his chest.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • I would rather she went to the wild Highlands with a barelegged cateran than wed with one who could, at such a season, so broadly forget honour and decency.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • MacTavish Mhor had not sat still on that occasion, and he was outlawed, both as a traitor to the state and as a robber and cateran.

    Chronicles of the Canongate

  • Her love of MacTavish Mhor had been qualified by respect and sometimes even by fear, for the cateran was not the species of man who submits to female government; but over his son she had exerted, at first during childhood, and afterwards in early youth, an imperious authority, which gave her maternal love a character of jealousy.

    Chronicles of the Canongate

  • Whatever were occasionally the triumphs of this daring cateran, they were often exchanged for reverses; and his narrow escapes, rapid flights, and the ingenious stratagems with which he extricated himself from imminent danger, were no less remembered and admired than the exploits in which he had been successful.

    Chronicles of the Canongate

  • Who so likely as MacPhadraick to indicate to a young cateran the glen in which he could commence his perilous trade with most prospect of success?

    Chronicles of the Canongate

  • They had expected Rob to be a much more imposing and majestic cateran, and complained that his foot was set too late on his native heather.

    Rob Roy

  • The seal, a stag — no bad emblem of a wild cateran.

    Rob Roy


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.