\ ˈkern How to pronounce cairn (audio) \

Definition of cairn

: a heap of stones piled up as a memorial or as a landmark

Other Words from cairn

cairned \ ˈkernd How to pronounce cairn (audio) \ adjective

Examples of cairn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The team made the find at Tresness, a chambered cairn on the Orkney island of Sanday that dates to around 3500 B.C.E. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Sep. 2021 Gunnell had suggested Maeshowe, a Neolithic chambered cairn on the island of Orkney, as a reference for the location. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 28 Mar. 2022 The cross atop a stone cairn in Grytviken on the island of South Georgia is a memorial to Shackleton. New York Times, 18 Mar. 2022 Fit families can extend the hike to create a five-mile loop tracing Tenaya Creek, past a decorative cairn field, across two bridges, and back along the south side of Tenaya Canyon. Ashley M. Biggers, Outside Online, 28 Aug. 2014 Acadia National Park has a unique stone trail marker—the Bates cairn, named for Waldron Bates, who, like George Dorr, specialized in path making on MDI in the early 20th century. Virginia M. Wright, Outside Online, 8 Feb. 2021 But a diary and map found by Mikkelsen indicated that Mylius-Erichsen had placed his definitive findings in a cairn, built in a remote spot on the forbidding landscape. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2022 My personal favorite is the cast-iron Pebble Match Strike, which at first glance looks like a fancy paper weight or modern rock cairn but opens to reveal a match holder and ashtray set. Emily Palmer Heller, Vulture, 1 Dec. 2021 For Iman, cairn-building became a daily means of doing all these things while also sorting out her memories. New York Times, 18 Nov. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of cairn

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cairn

Middle English (Scots) carne, from Scottish Gaelic carn; akin to Old Irish & Welsh carn cairn

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The first known use of cairn was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cairn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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