Definition of caber in English:



  • A roughly trimmed tree trunk used in the Scottish Highland sport of tossing the caber. This involves holding the caber upright and running forward to toss it so that it lands on the opposite end.

    • ‘This is a land of festivals, more than any other, whether it means tossing cabers, weighing marrows or staging opera in country houses.’
    • ‘What most people associate with ‘Scottishness’ - tartan kilts, whisky, bagpipes and tossing the caber - are traditions descended from the Gaelic Highlands.’
    • ‘Like all true Scots, I hate haggis, kilts and cabers.’
    • ‘Through the summer, you'll barely turn a corner without seeing a Highland Games, with the skirl of the bagpipes, tug-o'-war, races and what they quaintly call heavy events’ - throwing lumps of metal and tossing the caber.’
    • ‘She had approached the men sporting with the cabers and asked them to show her how, naturally they didn't and told her that this was men's work.’
    • ‘They threw huge stones, tossed cabers and hurled heavy objects over high bars.’
    • ‘They originated from the practice of clan members meeting regularly to test their physical prowess in preparation for battle - but no-one is sure who invented tossing the caber.’
    • ‘The various Highland Games abound with ethnic foods, Gaelic music, Highland dancing, and sheepdog trials, plus numerous track and field events, including tossing the caber, where a large log is heaved to a twelve o'clock position.’
    • ‘But if it's true that Scotsmen wear nothing under the kilt, make sure you don't turn any cartwheels or toss your caber in the playground.’
    • ‘When important decisions need to be taken, instead of having the rigmarole of members voting, simply toss a coin - or even a caber to decide the outcome.’
    • ‘Four disciplines were involved in this Austro-Scots sporting mishmash: tossing the caber, tug-o-war, beer-lifting and egg throwing.’
    • ‘The event organiser, a man from Mourne Highland Games, also demonstrated tossing the caber and even managed to persuade a few people to have a go at this popular Scottish sport.’
    • ‘The former typically involves large men in loud tartan tossing the caber, throwing the hammer and putting the stone, while the latter includes athletic track and field events.’
    • ‘Tossing the caber and sheaf pitching are other crowd-pleasers.’
    • ‘The caber is almost vertical in mid-air and will shortly fall the correct way, that is to the left, meaning that this was a valid toss’
    • ‘However, both events were understandably modified for sportshall use with the caber being something akin to a large rolled-up ‘carpet’, although it was made of cardboard instead.’
    • ‘So dedicated was he that a caber was brought to town giving the Games authenticity.’
    • ‘I could see a log flip upwards, tumbling end over end to hit the ground and cartwheel to a standstill like a caber.’
    • ‘The big difference between this and all the other Highland Games is that spectators get to participate - meek office-types, and even their husbands, can toss the caber with the big boys.’
    • ‘He triggers devastating explosions with bombs, pulverises solid boulders with a whopping great hammer, lifts up massive great marble pillars and lobs them like cabers, and is well nifty with both sword and bow.’


Early 16th century: from Scottish Gaelic cabar ‘pole’.