• WordNet 3.6
    • n cairn small rough-haired breed of terrier from Scotland
    • n cairn a mound of stones piled up as a memorial or to mark a boundary or path
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cairn A pile of stones heaped up as a landmark, or to arrest attention, as in surveying, or in leaving traces of an exploring party, etc.
    • Cairn 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 ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cairn A heap of stones; especially, one of a class of large heaps of stones common in Great Britain, particularly in Scotland and Wales, and generally of a conical form. They are of various sizes. Some are evidently sepulchral, containing urns, stone chests, bones, etc. Some were erected to commemorate a great event, others appear to have had a religious significance, while the modern cairn is generally set up as a landmark, or to arrest the attention, as in surveying, or in leaving a record of all exploring party or the like. See barrow.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Cairn kārn a heap of stones, esp. one raised over a grave, or as a landmark on a mountain-top
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gael. carn, gen. cairn, a heap: cf. Ir. & W. carn,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Celt. carn.


In literature:

As everybody knows, Cairns's forecast was right, and the Tories won the general election by a large majority.
"Studies in Contemporary Biography" by James Bryce, Viscount Bryce
Two days before she had visited the lonely cairn.
"The Galaxy, June 1877" by Various
The scouts were reclining in the cairn behind the fire, still talking in low tones.
"Barclay of the Guides" by Herbert Strang
For his own sake, he must camp under shelter from that wind, behind a cairn of stones, below a cliff, in a ravine.
"The Story of the Trapper" by A. C. Laut
She climbed down the steep little track from the cairn on to the shore.
"The Head Girl at the Gables" by Angela Brazil
It was a great cairn, and upon it sat a figure, facing outward from the Gates of Death as though it kept watch over whatever country lay beyond.
"Black Amazon of Mars" by Leigh Brackett
A very curious cairn on the summit of Slieve Croob is 80 yds.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 6" by Various
So I got the place quietly bonded, and bought him old Dr. Aitkin's practice in Cairn Edward with the money.
"International Short Stories" by Various
You will find his bones along there under a bit of a cairn near the water.
"Tales of South Africa" by H.A. Bryden
A cairn was built, a written account of their travels deposited, and five days' rations left.
"The Greater Republic" by Charles Morris

In poetry:

"Troth, I'm no sae pryin, laddie,
Yon's no my concern!
Jist as sune I wud gang speirin
What's intil yon cairn!"
"Ower The Hedge" by George MacDonald
Fair Maeve, that was queen of Beauty,
Whither, whither has she gone?
Ask the cairn that over Sligo
Lifts its stones to greet the dawn!
"Queens" by Clinton Scollard
Yet sometimes when night is sealing
Cairn and ruined shrine from view,
Down the Kerry glens goes pealing
That wild cry--"O'Donnell Aboo!"
"O’Donnell Aboo" by Clinton Scollard
All through the night
I have heard the stuttering call of a blind quail,
A caged decoy, under a cairn of stones,
Crying for light as the quails cry for love.
"The Quails" by Francis Brett Young
Thus is he doomed till Judgment–
Although the cairn should hold
His fevered heart in quiet,
And hide his hair of gold,
His soul shall wander seeking,
And its quest be never told.
"The Curse Of Mora" by Anna Johnston MacManus
Therefore well may Nature keep
Equal faith with all who sleep,
Set her watch of hills around
Christian grave and heathen mound,
And to cairn and kirkyard send
Summer's flowery dividend.
"The Grave" by John Greenleaf Whittier

In news:

A cruise ship is seen in place off Port Douglas for passengers to watch the total eclipse on November 14, 2012 in Cairns, Australia.
Vedanta Resources, London, has completed all conditions for its acquisition of a controlling interest in Cairn India Ltd, reports parent Cairn Energy PLC, Edinburgh, (OGJ Online, Oct 20, 2011).
Cairn Energy retains a 22% interest in the Indian company.
Cairn Energy PLC said it has completed the sale of a minority stake in subsidiary Cairn India to the mining conglomerate Vedanta Resources, which is trying to acquire a majority interest.
Cairn sold a 10% interest in Cairn India to Vedanta for $1.362 billion.
Cairn- Vedanta Deal in India Is Delayed.
These include the Dandie Dinmont, Scottish, Skye and Cairn Terriers.
Cairns (SIU) - 127 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT.
A live broadcast of the solar eclipse over Cairns and Great Barrier Reef , Australia, begins at 2:30 pm EST.
Aerial views of The Great Barrier Reef are seen from above on August 7, 2009 in Cairns, Australia.
'Cairns' quirky but full of fun insights into rock heaps .
Maxx, a Cairn Terrier, watches the rain come down in Belle Chasse.
Earlier this month, I headed to the Southern Hemisphere for a vacation in Sydney and Cairns, Australia.
A 3-year-old Cairn Terrier has been trained to sniff and detect Kemp's ridley sea turtle nests.
Jennifer Davick, Article: Marian Cooper Cairns.

In science:

Cairns-Smith, Evolving the Mind: On the Nature and the Origin of Consciousness (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996).
Quantum Computation in Brain Microtubules? Decoherence and Biological Feasibility
Cairns-Smith has proposed that during the origin of life the first biological information storage was based on clay minerals, and that later a 'genetic takeover' of this function by nucleic acids took place .
Sorption heat engines: simple inanimate negative entropy generators
Cairns-Smith, Genetic Takeover and the Minerals Origins of Life, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1982. G.
Sorption heat engines: simple inanimate negative entropy generators
We therefore suggest that these magnetic nano-particle assemblies, could have been the sof t − magnetic − matter version of Cairns-Smith’s mineral scaffold that was replaced by organic matter.
Magnetism, FeS colloids, and Origins of Life
Cairns-Smith AG (1982) Genetic takeover and the mineral origins of life.
Magnetism, FeS colloids, and Origins of Life