chiefly Scotland
: child

Examples of bairn in a Sentence

at the Scottish festival there were traditional contests of strength and endurance, Celtic fiddlers, and groups of bairns performing Highland flings
Recent Examples on the Web Later, Marsali once again fails to read the room and talks to Ian about all of her bairns and the joys of a big family. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 13 Apr. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bairn.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English bern, barn, from Old English bearn & Old Norse barn; akin to Old High German barn child

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bairn was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near bairn

Cite this Entry

“Bairn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


ˈba(ə)rn How to pronounce bairn (audio)
chiefly Scottish
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