Inverness-Shire, a county of Scotland, stretching diagonally across the mainland from sea to sea, between lat. 56° 40' and 57° 40' N., and including on the west the island of Skye, several smaller islands, and most of the Outer Hebrides; area, 4,255 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 87,480. The S. W. shores are deeply indented by arms of the sea, and on the N. E. is Moray frith. The country is mountainous, well wooded, and generally fertile; about 112,000 acres are under cultivation. The Monadlia (gray mountain), or Monagh Lea, and the Benalder mountains are the principal ranges, each with an altitude of 3,000 ft. Ben Nevis, the loftiest peak in Britain, rises to a height of 4,406 ft.; Cairngorm is 4,090 ft. high; and Tomnahurich, an isolated hill near Inverness, 1,984 ft. Veins of lead and silver and small quantities of iron ore have been discovered, but no coal. The chief rivers are the Spey, Ness, Beauly, and Garry, all of which have valuable salmon fisheries. Lakes occupy 132 sq. m. of the area. The largest is Loch Ness, so deep that it never freezes; with its continuations and connections, it bisects the county from N. E. to S. W. Many of these lakes are surrounded by picturesque scenery.
The Gaelic language, excepting in the town of Inverness, is more prevalent than English. Agriculture is prosperous; oats are the main crop. But tillage is secondary to the raising of cattle and sheep, the former generally of the Skye or Kyloe breed, and the latter Cheviot or Linton.