tern

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English[edit]

An arctic tern

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From a Scandinavian language, related to Danish terne, Swedish tärna, ultimately from Old Norse þerna

Noun[edit]

tern (plural terns)

  1. Any of various sea birds of the family Sternidae that are similar to gulls but are smaller and have a forked tail.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

French terne. See tern (adjective).

Noun[edit]

tern (plural terns)

  1. That which consists of, or pertains to, three things or numbers together.
  2. (dated) A lottery prize resulting from the favourable combination of three numbers in the draw.
    • Mrs Browning
      She'd win a tern in Thursday's lottery.

Adjective[edit]

tern (not comparable)

  1. threefold; triple; consisting of three; ternate
    tern flowers; tern leaves
    a tern schooner, one with three masts

Anagrams[edit]