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[Scot. brokh, bruhkh] /Scot. brɒx, brʌx/
a circular stone tower built around the beginning of the Christian era, having an inner and an outer wall, found on the Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, the Hebrides, and the mainland of Scotland.
Origin of broch
1645-55; Scots, metathetic variant of burgh Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for broch
Historical Examples
  • A “broch” round the moon, in her troubled heaven, indicates a storm of rain or wind.

    Meteorology J. G. M'Pherson
  • "I can leave it at broch anyway," he said to Signy as he stowed the bag aboard.

    Viking Boys Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby
  • The term "broch" has hitherto been used in a general sense in these pages.

    The Testimony of Tradition David MacRitchie
  • One had bundled herself into a broch shawl and "run over" hatless.

    Ancestors Gertrude Atherton
  • On an islet in the lake stands a ruined “broch” or round tower.

  • The rest of that day was spent at broch—delightfully spent, we know, since the Yarl was host.

    Viking Boys Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby
  • So far the “broch,” or hill fort, was not unlike other hill forts and brochs, of which there are hundreds in Scotland.

    The Clyde Mystery Andrew Lang
  • This urban agglomeration, Dr. broch shows, has been 'due principally to causes which have operated in the rest of Europe.

  • Probably the many hut circles which surround this broch are of later date and were formed from its ruins.

    British Castles Charles H. Ashdown
  • The hunter shouted out in his dream if there was any one in the broch, to let him in for the Holy One's sake.

British Dictionary definitions for broch


/brɒk; brɒx/
(in Scotland) a circular dry-stone tower large enough to serve as a fortified home; they date from the Iron Age and are found esp in the north and the islands
Word Origin
C17: from Old Norse borg; related to Old English burh settlement, burgh
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for broch

prehistoric stone tower of the Scottish Highland and isles, 1650s, from Scottish broch, from Old Norse borg "castle," cognate with Old English burh (see borough).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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