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A.Word.A.Day--cairn

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

The sharper the point of the needle, the more easily it goes through. The thinner the blade of the sword, the more swiftly it cuts through. Often the same goes for words. A short, potent word helps convey the idea in just a few letters. This week we'll feature a few single-syllable words, and in the spirit of this week's theme, we'll keep this paragraph short.

cairn (kairn) noun

A heap of stones set up as a landmark or a memorial.

[From Scottish Gaelic carn (pile of stones).]

See more usage examples of cairn in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"Four of us were knackered* after a five-hour walk that followed little painted cairns around rolling farmland." Keri Welham; Put Your Best Foot Forward; The Dominion Post (Wellington, New Zealand); Jan 16, 2008. *knackered: exhausted (British slang)

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A good listener helps us overhear ourselves. -Yahia Lababidi, author (b. 1973)

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