Definition of croft in US English:



  • 1A small rented farm, especially one in Scotland, comprising a plot of arable land attached to a house and with a right of pasturage held in common with other such farms.

    • ‘The scheme aims to promote wildlife conservation on farms and crofts.’
    • ‘He revolutionised farming in Scotland in the 18th century, by compiling his famous Statistical Account of Scotland - a detailed survey of every farm and croft in the land.’
    • ‘Deer also cause damage to farms, crofts, forests and are a hazard on some of our roads.’
    • ‘They were originally described as fishermen who had a croft, compared with the Orcadians who were farmers who kept a fishing boat.’
    • ‘One tier is land with crofts or tenants and the other land without, for which there is extra demand.’
    • ‘Farmers live on crofts, a term that refers both to their land and their family home.’
    • ‘There is a hackneyed witticism about crofts being little pieces of land surrounded by regulations.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the crofters on both crown and private land also lacked incentives, as they were not given an opportunity to redeem the crofts and related cultivated land for themselves.’
    • ‘There are currently 33,000 people living on 17, 700 crofts in Scotland.’
    • ‘More than 180 crofters, some living thousands of miles from their crofts, were forced to give up their land last year to make way for new tenants.’
    • ‘There are 17,725 crofts and more than 33,000 people living in crofting households concentrated on the western seaboard of the Highland mainland, the Western Isles, Shetland, Skye and the Inner Hebrides.’
    • ‘They moved to Skye with their children, fully intending to occupy a croft and work the land.’
    • ‘Moreover, the new legislation did little to make the crofts more viable, or to solve the problem of there being very few alternative sources of employment.’
    • ‘Perhaps in the later Middle Ages, some crofts were combined into larger holdings, occasionally with barn or byre as well as a farmhouse.’
    • ‘We need people on the crofts and on tenant farms to keep our countryside alive rather than allowing it to revert to desert status.’
    • ‘Restoration has featured all styles and periods - from crofts and castles to factories and country mansions - dating from medieval times to the 20th century.’
    • ‘I will admit to being no expert on that tortuous legislation on land tenure, but apparently, by allowing crofters to reassign their holdings to outsiders, crofts could ultimately be sold on to, well, anybody.’
    • ‘Scotland has a rich diversity of historic buildings, including castles, tower houses, crofts, steadings, Edwardian mansions and so on.’
    • ‘Assisting crofts to go organic would boost Scotland's share of organically managed land.’
    • ‘On the area of the croft land, there is also a further dilapidated farm building which could have the potential for residential conversion.’
    smallholding, holding, farmstead, steading, grange, plantation, estate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An enclosed field used for tillage or pasture, typically attached to a house and worked by the occupier.
      • ‘She opened the croft gate, and the women filed in, one by one before us, and stood on the unploughed plots of the croft.’
      • ‘Leek pottage was especially popular - but the crops used depended on what a peasant had grown in the croft around the side of his home.’
      • ‘Here is the second cluster of huts, wattle fences enclosing neat crofts of fowl houses and kitchen-gardens blown with harvest.’
      • ‘In 1556 he bought a house and garden in the same street, and a house with a garden and croft (enclosed land) in the nearby Greenhill Street.’
      • ‘I hear my first corncrake in a patch of irises by a roadside croft and spend a tantalising and unsuccessful half-hour trying to get a glimpse of it.’
      • ‘As I neared her croft I began to look for her across the fields, or by the stream, for I knew she often worked there as well.’
      • ‘Back lanes run along the rear of the crofts parallel with the main street, giving access to fields.’


[with object]British
  • Farm (land) as a croft or crofts.


Old English: of unknown origin.