a seaport in NE Australia. Unabridged


a heap of stones set up as a landmark, monument, tombstone, etc.
Also, carn.

1525–35; earlier carn < Scots Gaelic: pile of stones; perhaps akin to horn

cairned, adjective
cairny, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cairn (kɛən)
1.  a mound of stones erected as a memorial or marker
2.  Also called: cairn terrier a small rough-haired breed of terrier originally from Scotland
[C15: from Gaelic carn]

Cairns (kænz, kɛənz)
a port in NE Australia, in Queensland. Pop: 98 981 (2001)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1530s, from Scottish carne, from Gael. carn "heap of stones, rocky hill," akin to Gaul. karnon "horn," from PIE base *ker-n- "highest part of the body, horn," thus "tip, peak" (see horn).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


city and port, northeastern Queensland, Australia, on Trinity Inlet of Trinity Bay. Founded in the 1870s as a government customs collection point, it grew in the late 19th century as the result of gold discoveries along the Hodgkinson and Palmer rivers, tin discoveries at Herberton on the Atherton Plateau, and the introduction of sugarcane cultivation in the area. Named for Sir William Wellington Cairns, governor of Queensland (1875-77), it was proclaimed a municipality in 1885, a town in 1903, and a city in 1923.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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