EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

 
An arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea; etymology 1) photographed on the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland, England, U.K.

Etymology 1Edit

Via an East Anglian dialect [1670s], from some Scandinavian (North Germanic) language, related to Danish terne, Norwegian terne, and Swedish tärna, all from Old Norse þerna (tern; maidservant),[1] ultimately from Proto-Germanic *þewernǭ (maidservant; servant’s daughter), from Proto-Indo-European *tekʷ- (to run; to flow). Cognate with Old English stearn.

NounEdit

tern (plural terns)

  1. Any of various seabirds of the subfamily Sternidae (of the family Laridae) that are similar to gulls but are smaller and have a forked tail.
Alternative formsEdit
  • terne (obsolete, 17th c.)
HyponymsEdit
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit
See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

PIE word
*tréyes

The noun is derived from Late Middle English terne (throw of a die or dice showing the number three),[2] from Old French terne (gathering of three people; trinity) (modern French terne), from Latin ternās,[3] the accusative feminine plural of ternī (three each; three at a time), from ter (thrice) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *tréyes (three)) + (from -us (suffix forming adjectives)).

The adjective is either derived from the noun, or directly from Latin ternī (three each; three at a time);[3] see above.

NounEdit

tern (plural terns)

  1. (dated or obsolete) A thing with three components; a set of three things.
    1. (gambling, dated) A lottery prize resulting from the favourable combination of three numbers in the draw.
TranslationsEdit

AdjectiveEdit

tern (not comparable)

  1. (chiefly botany, rare) Consisting of three components; ternate, threefold, triple.
    Synonyms: ternary, treble, trine; see also Thesaurus:triple
    tern flowers; tern leaves
    a tern schooner, one with three masts
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TranslationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ tern, n.1”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “tern1, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  2. ^ terne, n.(2)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Compare “tern, adj. and n.2”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2019; “tern2, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit


Middle EnglishEdit

VerbEdit

tern

  1. Alternative form of teren

RomanianEdit

EtymologyEdit

From French terne.

AdjectiveEdit

tern m or n (feminine singular ternă, masculine plural terni, feminine and neuter plural terne)

  1. dull

DeclensionEdit