Definition of croft in 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.

    • ‘Farmers live on crofts, a term that refers both to their land and their family home.’
    • ‘The scheme aims to promote wildlife conservation on farms and crofts.’
    • ‘They moved to Skye with their children, fully intending to occupy a croft and work the land.’
    • ‘There is a hackneyed witticism about crofts being little pieces of land surrounded by regulations.’
    • ‘One tier is land with crofts or tenants and the other land without, for which there is extra demand.’
    • ‘On the area of the croft land, there is also a further dilapidated farm building which could have the potential for residential conversion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Scotland has a rich diversity of historic buildings, including castles, tower houses, crofts, steadings, Edwardian mansions and so on.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Deer also cause damage to farms, crofts, forests and are a hazard on some of our roads.’
    • ‘Restoration has featured all styles and periods - from crofts and castles to factories and country mansions - dating from medieval times to the 20th century.’
    • ‘Assisting crofts to go organic would boost Scotland's share of organically managed land.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They were originally described as fishermen who had a croft, compared with the Orcadians who were farmers who kept a fishing boat.’
    • ‘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.’
    smallholding, holding, farmstead, steading, grange, plantation, estate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1An enclosed field used for tillage or pasture, typically attached to a house and worked by the occupier.
      • ‘Here is the second cluster of huts, wattle fences enclosing neat crofts of fowl houses and kitchen-gardens blown with harvest.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Back lanes run along the rear of the crofts parallel with the main street, giving access to fields.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She opened the croft gate, and the women filed in, one by one before us, and stood on the unploughed plots of the croft.’
      • ‘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.’


  • Farm (land) as a croft or crofts.


Old English: of unknown origin.