Definition of crottle in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkrädl/
(also crotal)


A common lichen found on rocks, used in Scotland to make a golden-brown or reddish-brown dye for staining wool for making tweed.
  • Parmelia saxatilis (order Parmeliales) and other species.
Example sentences
  • At the top of the shore lichens or crotal grow on the rocks, and various species were boiled up with whole fleeces, water and the mordant human urine to give some of the unique hues associated with Harris Tweed.
  • This is dark crottle or puffed shield lichen, Parmelia physodes.
  • Of ancient origin, the crotal has remained unchanged over the years and is found throughout the world.


Mid 18th century: from Scottish Gaelic and Irish crotal, crotan.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: crot·tle

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.