Find the word definition

Crossword clues for strath

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Strath \Strath\, n. [Gael. srath.] A valley of considerable size, through which a river runs; a valley bottom; -- often used in composition with the name of the river; as, Strath Spey, Strathdon, Strathmore. [Scot.]

The long green strath of Napa valley.
--R. L. Stevenson.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"wide river valley between hills," 1530s, from Scottish, from Old Irish srath "wide river valley," from Old Celtic *s(t)rato-, from PIE root *stere- "to spread, extend, stretch out" (see structure (n.)).


n. (context Scotland English) A wide, flat river valley.


A strath is a large valley, typically a river valley that is wide and shallow (as opposed to a glen, which is typically narrower and deep).

An anglicisation of the Gaelic word srath, it is one of many that have been absorbed into the English language. It is commonly used in rural Scotland to describe a wide valley, even by non-Gaelic speakers.

It occurs in numerous place names within Scotland including Strathspey and Strathclyde. Internationally, many places with Scottish heritage also use the prefix including Strath-Taieri in New Zealand; Strathfield, a suburb of Sydney, Australia; Strathewen, Victoria, Australia; Strathpine, a suburb of Brisbane, Australia; and various places in Canada: Strathmore, Alberta; Strathcona; Strathroy, Ontario; and Strathburn, Ontario.

It also occurs in the names of five Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company liners, four of which, the Strathaird, the Strathnaver, the Stratheden and the Strathmore carried thousands of migrants to Australia between the 1950s and the 1960s. The ships acted as troop carriers during the Second World War and the fifth ship, the Strathallan, sank in the Mediterranean in 1942 taking troops to the landings in North Africa.

The word is related to Old Welsh Ystrad, as in Ystrad Clud, the Old Welsh name for the Kingdom of Strathclyde.

In Keith there is a distillery producing the Strathisla whisky. It is a single malt whisky that is also an ingredient to the blend Chivas Regal.

Usage examples of "strath".

Jim and Louisa reined in on the crest and looked down into a wide strath, a gently sloping valley through which another river meandered.

From Bonar Bridge we drive along Strath Carron for ten miles on an unpaved single-track road through the woods.

This inland expanse of deserted straths, forsaken glens, and desolate lochs is where the impact of the Highland Clearances is most readily apparent.

The gifts are the mountains, the lochs, the limitless sky, the sea, the hills, the straths.

Far from their homes in the straths between hills, they would long for this land now emptied.

People engaged in mixed farming, with cattle, horses, and small native sheep grazing the hills, and small-scale cultivation of corn and hay in the straths, or valleys.

Jimmy Bell, the local amateur historian, theorizes that Carnaig Street, which runs through Littletown, was so named because of people cleared from Strath Carnaig, northwest of Dornoch), or given passage to North America.