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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So dedicated was he that a caber was brought to town giving the Games authenticity.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘I could see a log flip upwards, tumbling end over end to hit the ground and cartwheel to a standstill like a caber.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Like all true Scots, I hate haggis, kilts and cabers.’
    • ‘Tossing the caber and sheaf pitching are other crowd-pleasers.’
    • ‘They threw huge stones, tossed cabers and hurled heavy objects over high bars.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What most people associate with ‘Scottishness’ - tartan kilts, whisky, bagpipes and tossing the caber - are traditions descended from the Gaelic Highlands.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This is a land of festivals, more than any other, whether it means tossing cabers, weighing marrows or staging opera in country houses.’


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