\ ˈbern How to pronounce bairn (audio) \

Definition of bairn

chiefly Scotland
: child

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for bairn



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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,, "Outlander recap: I will always sing for you," 13 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bairn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bairn

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bairn

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bairn

Time Traveler for bairn

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for bairn

Cite this Entry

“Bairn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on bairn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bairn

Comments on bairn

What made you want to look up bairn? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!