Meaning of Caledonian in English:


Pronunciation /ˌkalɪˈdəʊnɪən/


  • 1(chiefly in names or geographical terms) relating to Scotland or the Scottish Highlands.

    ‘the Caledonian Railway’
    • ‘There is also a suggestion that the match against Japan could be played in the Caledonian region to reward Scotland's most northerly region for its crucial and growing contribution to the national squad.’
    • ‘Perhaps there is already a corner of a Caledonian bar being named in his honour.’
    • ‘The stronghold for many of these species is in the Caledonian pinewoods of Scotland, although colonies are also recorded in the New Forest and Windsor Forest.’
    • ‘The ancient Caledonian Forest once covered the Scottish Highlands.’
    • ‘An appeal for the Caledonian diaspora to go out and ‘sell for Scotland’ is to be launched by the Secretary of State this Saturday as part of an attempt to give the country more clout on the international stage.’
    • ‘The driftwood, which can be anything from 100 to 1,000 years old, is the remains of the ancient Caledonian pine forest, which once cloaked Scotland.’
    • ‘A new website offering pictures of Scottish gravestones to American descendants keen to discover their Caledonian roots has been inundated with inquiries.’
    • ‘Steele said the initial focus of the London trip would be to target young men with Scottish family backgrounds in the hope their Caledonian heritage might persuade them to sign up.’
    • ‘The history of woodland exploitation in Ireland has parallels with the decline of Caledonian native pinewoods in Scotland.’
    • ‘It refers to the Caledonian inhabitants of North Briton, what is now modern Scotland.’
    • ‘Walk along a river before entering Caledonian pinewoods in one of the most beautiful areas of Scotland.’
    • ‘The Caledonian version, launched in 1991, lets Scots firms assess the quality of their performance in areas including leadership, customer satisfaction and environmental and social impact.’
    • ‘Juniper, which can grow up to 10 ft tall, is now Britain's rarest conifer but was once widespread in the old Caledonian forests which covered the mountains and hills of the Highlands and the Borders of Scotland.’
    • ‘He did so, it was reported, on the basis that comedy is not a generically Caledonian medium, that his humour is appreciated and relevant to a worldwide audience and that, therefore, he cannot be defined simply as a Scots jester.’
    • ‘Wilson said there had been a resurgence in interest in restoring native woodlands, resulting in an increase of more than 30,000 hectares in Caledonian pinewoods alone over the past 15 years.’
    • ‘More Caledonian pines fringe the steep-sided gorge, cut through by a now decisively roaring river, joined by a glinting filigree necklace of waterfalls and burns tumbling down its walls.’
    • ‘After forty damp days and nights their leather boat came to rest not on the mountains of Ararat, where the torrents had been stopped, but on a soggy bed of peatmoss beside a silver Caledonian firth.’
    • ‘In comparison, it is a more intimate little river requiring the stealth of a mountain goat and nothing longer than a trout rod to flick a wispy fly under the overhanging branches of ancient Caledonian pine.’
    • ‘Professor Chris Smout, the Historiographer Royal, believes the great Caledonian forest was ancient ‘spin’.’
    • ‘It's at this time of year, when the driving Caledonian rain takes on the lukewarm quality we have come to know as summer, that this column somehow finds itself compelled to venture outdoors.’
    • ‘Spread out below in the sunshine is a textbook glen with a sparkling salmon river meandering down from the straggling remnants of the old Caledonian pine forest, which once cloaked the land.’
    • ‘The result would be a planning imperative on Scotland which would make saving physical history every bit as important as preserving remnants of Caledonian forest or upland bog.’
    • ‘And for your wedding video, the stirring beat of Caledonian wind and rain mingled with the skirl of pipes will create a soundtrack worthy of Braveheart.’
    • ‘The network of local walks is continually developing and our route this week follows a newly signposted section through Caledonian pines that rounds of the walk nicely.’
    • ‘We stroll along the banks of the River Avich and its waterfalls, through tightly-knit Caledonian forest, roots covered in a deep carpet of moss.’
    • ‘Virtually the whole of the country was once cloaked in Caledonian woodlands which have mostly been chopped down to make buildings and to accommodate sheep.’
    • ‘The show is immersed in Scottishness - a frequent English complaint is that the Glaswegian accents are incomprehensible - but takes an irreverent view of what it means to be Caledonian.’
    • ‘The remnants of the Scots pine dominated ancient Caledonian forest are the most beautiful temperate woodland I've ever seen and it's full of wild life.’
  • 2Geology
    Relating to or denoting a mountain-forming period (orogeny) in north-western Europe and Greenland during the Lower Palaeozoic era, especially the late Silurian.

    ‘Avalonia drifted rapidly northwards, opening the Rheic ocean until it collided with Laurentia in the Silurian during the Caledonian orogeny.’
    • ‘The mechanically weak phyllitic layer acted as the basal thrust or décollement zone during the Caledonian orogeny.’
    • ‘The Caledonian orogeny in East Greenland was the result of the collision of Baltica with the margin of Eaurentia.’
    • ‘This has implications for the timing of related deformation events elsewhere in the Moine Supergroup, and hence for regional tectonic models for the Caledonian orogeny in this part of the North Atlantic region.’
    • ‘Many of the difficulties in understanding the relationship between these different areas may be due to the separate terranes being juxtaposed along large strike-slip faults during the Caledonian orogeny.’
    • ‘This tectonic scenario is similar to Haller's model for formation of the domes as Precambrian crystalline rocks ‘rejuvenated’ during the Caledonian orogeny.’
    • ‘The Dalradian rocks in Arran were initially folded during the Caledonian orogeny into a recumbent structure known as the Aberfoyle synform.’
    • ‘Ductile thrusts that were active during the Ordovician-Silurian Caledonian orogeny divide the Moine into a scries of major nappes.’
    • ‘In the middle Silurian the combined Avalonia and Baltica collided with Laurentia to form the substantial palaeocontinent of Laurussia, amidst the turmoil of the Caledonian orogeny.’
    • ‘These gneiss complexes contain Caledonian eclogites that attest to the deep burial of these rocks in the over-thickened crust resulting from the Caledonian orogeny.’
    • ‘The two rift sequences were subsequently juxtaposed by displacement on the Sgurr Beag thrust and interfolded during the Caledonian orogeny.’
    • ‘Several allochthons were thrust onto the Western Gneiss Complex during the Caledonian orogeny.’
    • ‘During Caledonian orogenesis the Krummedal sequence metasediments were subjected to a high-grade metamorphism, which locally reached granulitc facies and has been dated at c.430 Ma in Renland.’
    • ‘In the southern half of the Caledonian orogen, sedimentation in the post-Caledonian continental basins started significantly earlier, in the Mid-Devonian.’
    • ‘Together with the Appalachian, Caledonian and Variscan orogens, the Uralian orogeny contributed to the assembly of the late Palaeozoic supercontinent of Pangaea.’
    • ‘These yield insights into the late unroofing history of this sector of the orogen and thereby facilitate correlation with tectonothermal events in related parts of the Caledonian orogen.’
    • ‘The margins of other Early Palaeozoic oceans had their own distinct closure histories and are thus excluded from our Caledonian orogen.’
    • ‘In general, basement rocks are exposed in the footwall block, whereas Caledonian nappe units are preserved in the hanging wall.’
    • ‘In the Hardangerfjord Shear Zone example, the weak, micaceous décollement zone decoupled the basement from the overlying Caledonian nappes.’
    • ‘Evidence of contact metamorphism of the wall-rock includes andalusite porphyroblasts enclosed in a fabric related to Caledonian nappe emplacement.’


  • 1 humorous, literary A person from Scotland.

    ‘But the Romans never subdued the northern tribes - variously referred to as Brigantes, Caledonians and Picts - who repeatedly launched raids into the mighty Roman Empire.’
    • ‘It is not till AD.300 that we read of the Caledonians and other Picts; in the 4th century they frequently harried the Romans up to the wall of Hadrian, between Tyne and Soiway.’
    • ‘It had always been hoped that the Scottish parliament would divert the attention of fractious Caledonians away from England-bashing.’
    • ‘Confederation is confirmed by Tacitus, who records that Calgacus, who addressed the Caledonians before the battle of Mons Graupius, was ‘one of many leaders’.’
    • ‘The Roman chronicler, Tacitus, writing at the time of Agricola's invasion in 79 AD, described the Caledonians as ‘resembling savages’.’
    • ‘In 209, Severus concluded peace with the Caledonians and Maeatae, although they subsequently revolted; and after his father's death in 211, Caracalla signed a new treaty.’
    • ‘But the spirit of the Caledonians is one I've respected all my life - the one tribe who put a stop to the Romans.’
    • ‘For the duration of his war on the Caledonians, Severus chose to make Eboracum his base, and thus the centre of the Roman empire, which saw the emergence of pottery styles never before seen in Britain.’
    • ‘Members of the government are expected to adopt a collegial form of administration in the interests of all Caledonians, while political confrontations are limited to the territorial assembly.’
    • ‘A fortnight later, both teenagers were on the plane north to take up full-time contracts with the Caledonians and continue living in studentesque, playstation heaven in a flat in Glasgow's west end.’
    • ‘Similarly, the Brigantes fought sporadically with the Caledonians in pre-Christian Britain, but both worshipped Brigidda (among others).’
    • ‘The belief had always been that Agricola's stay in Scotland was too short to have had any significant cultural impact on the local population, a Celtic race whom Tacitus referred to as Caledonians.’
    • ‘So bedazzled are we by the prospect of internet nationhood, it seems, that thousands of guid Caledonians have apparently already rushed forward to grab their little piece of Alba in cyberspace.’
    • ‘As for the Scots, another supposed truism - that hardy Caledonians tend to prosper in less than ideal meteorological conditions - got a sharp rap on the cranium yesterday.’
    • ‘Consul for the third time in 208, again with Geta, whom he also hated, he accompanied his father to Britain, sharing command against the Caledonians.’
    • ‘The name has the cut and thrust of a battle-cry but translates into something much less macho - Sidh Chailleann, the fairy hill of the Caledonians.’
    • ‘The view is wonderfully wide-ranging, with Schiehallion, the Fairy Hill of the Caledonians, obvious in the north.’
    • ‘Although it is interpreted to represent a Caledonian allochthon, it was probably also a part of the western margin of Baltica when the Western Gneiss Complex was formed.’
    • ‘His Caledonian ancestry was reflected in his craggy nose, narrow mouth and wrinkled brow, which gave him the look of a weatherbeaten ghillie.’
    • ‘Among those allocated dates this year, apart from local organisations, are an evangelist and a Caledonian Pipe Band.’
    • ‘And, like ministers and successful American Scots who have made new lives and careers here, she hopes the self-belief that permeates Caledonian Americans might rub off on Scots back home.’
    • ‘The Romans discovered this the hard way: the remains of the Antonine Wall mark the boundary where the tide of imperial expansion dashed impotently against the breakwater of Caledonian intransigence.’
    • ‘And while many in Scotland have congratulated themselves on our own business values and standards, there is little room for any Caledonian complacency.’
    • ‘Speak as your mother taught you to do, not as a histrionic eccentric Caledonian!’
  • 2the CaledonianGeology
    The Caledonian orogeny.

    ‘Unlike other Late Palaeozoic orogens, most notably the Appalachian, Variscan and Caledonian, the Uralide orogen did not undergo major post-orogenic extension.’
    • ‘Finally, later workers such as Baird and Rathbone et al. have concluded that the thrust movement occurred after the metamorphic climax, and is Caledonian in age.’
    • ‘D2 can be shown to be Caledonian in age, because the associated SZ cleavage is also found in Early Cambrian Skolithos-bearing sandstones.’
    • ‘Our isotopic results indicate that the dated synkinematic anatectic granites are Caledonian rather than Grenvillian in age.’
    • ‘This monocline is defined by quartzite and must be Caledonian.’
    • ‘The intrusion is cut by other igneous rocks of uncertain age which could be late Caledonian.’
    • ‘D 2 structures and related regional metamorphic assemblages postdate intrusion of the augcn granites and are assumed to be Caledonian (sensu lato) in age.’
    • ‘We conclude that the Sgurr Beag Thrust, a major tectonic break separating the Morar and Glenfinnan groups of the Moine, is mainly of Neoproterozoic, not Caledonian, age.’
    • ‘These results suggest that Caledonian and Variscan Britain may be associated with a T e that is relatively high compared with the thickness of the crust.’
    • ‘Basement trends in the Central North Sea are generally characterized by NW-SE and NE-SW faults that parallel the arc of Caledonian and Tornquist lineaments.’


From Caledonia, the Latin name for northern Britain, + -an.