Origin of cairnScottish from Gaelic carn, an elevation from Indo-European base an unverified form ker-n-, highest part of the body, horn, hence tip, peak from source Classical Latin cornu, horn, extremity, summit
A mound of stones erected as a memorial or marker.
Origin of cairnMiddle English carne from Scottish Gaelic carn from Old Irish
- A rounded or conical heap of stones erected by early inhabitants of the British Isles, apparently as a sepulchral monument.
- Now here let us place the gray stone of her cairn. -Campbell.
- A pile of stones heaped up as a landmark, to guide travelers on land or at sea, or to arrest attention, as in surveying, or in leaving traces of an exploring party, etc.
- A cairn terrier.
- From another point of view it is a monstrous hoard or cairn of rough-hewn antiquarian learning, now often praised, sometimes quoted from, and never read.
- North-west of this another Asoka pillar has been discovered, recording his visit to the cairn erected by the Sakyas over the remains of Konagamana, one of the previous Buddhas or teachers, whose follower Gotama the Buddha had claimed to be.
- A cairn was built on the top in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria's jubilee.
- On Rousay (627) the cairn of Blotchnie Fiold (811 ft.), the highest point of the island, commands a beautiful survey of the northern isles of the archipelago.
- In Ireland, where the long barrow form is all but unknown, the round barrow or chambered cairn prevailed from the earliest Pagan period till the introduction of Christianity.