noun Etymology: of Scandinavian origin; akin to Danish terne tern Date: 1678 any of various chiefly marine birds (subfamily Sterninae of the family Laridae and especially genus Sterna) that differ from the related gulls in usually smaller size, a more slender build, a sharply pointed bill, narrower wings, and an often forked tail

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tern — (t[ e]rn), n. [Dan. terne, t[ae]rne; akin to Sw. t[ a]rna, Icel. [thorn]erna; cf. NL. sterna.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of numerous species of long winged aquatic birds, allied to the gulls, and belonging to {Sterna} and various allied genera. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tern — Tern, a. [L. pl. terni three each, three; akin to tres three. See {Three}, and cf. {Trine}.] Threefold; triple; consisting of three; ternate. [1913 Webster] {Tern flowers} (Bot.), flowers growing three and three together. {Tern leaves} (Bot.),… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tern — TERN, Ă, terni, e, adj. (livr.) Fără luciu, şters, spălăcit; fig. fără relief, fără culoare; mohorât, monoton. – Din fr. terne. Trimis de ana zecheru, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  TERN adj. v. anost, banal, comun, monoton, placid, plictisitor,… …   Dicționar Român

  • Tern — Tern, n. [F. terne. See {Tern}, a.] That which consists of, or pertains to, three things or numbers together; especially, a prize in a lottery resulting from the favorable combination of three numbers in the drawing; also, the three numbers… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tern — (n.) gull like shore bird (subfamily Sterninae), 1670s, via E.Anglian dialect, from a Scandinavian source (Cf. Dan. terne, Swed. tärna, Færoese terna) related to O.N. þerna tern, cognate with O.E. stearn starling …   Etymology dictionary

  • tern — sb., en el. et, er el. tern, e(r)ne …   Dansk ordbog

  • tern — Mot Monosíl·lab Nom masculí …   Diccionari Català-Català

  • tern — [tə:n US tə:rn] n [Date: 1600 1700; Origin: From a Scandinavian language] a black and white sea bird that has long wings and a tail with two points …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • tern — [ tɜrn ] noun count a bird that lives by the ocean. It is similar to a SEAGULL …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • tern — ► NOUN ▪ a seabird resembling a gull but smaller and more slender, with long pointed wings and a forked tail. ORIGIN Scandinavian …   English terms dictionary

  • tern — [tʉrn] n. [< ON therna, via E Anglian dial.; akin to OE stearna] any of several shorebirds (family Laridae) with webbed feet, a deeply forked tail, a straight bill, and a slender body; sea swallow …   English World dictionary

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