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tern 1

Any of various seabirds primarily of the genus Sterna found worldwide, typically smaller than a gull and having a forked tail.

[Of Scandinavian origin.]

tern 2

1. Games A set of three, especially a combination of three numbers that wins a lottery.
2. A three-masted schooner.

[Middle English terne, from Old French, from ternes, from Latin ternās, accusative pl. of ternī, three each, from ter, thrice; see trei- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Animals) any aquatic bird of the subfamily Sterninae, having a forked tail, long narrow wings, a pointed bill, and a typically black-and-white plumage: family Laridae (gulls, etc), order Charadriiformes
[C18: from Old Norse therna; related to Norwegian terna, Swedish tärna]


1. (Nautical Terms) a three-masted schooner
2. rare a group of three
[C14: from Old French terne, from Italian terno, from Latin ternī three each; related to Latin ter thrice, trēs three]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



any of various web-footed aquatic birds of the subfamily Sterninae (family Laridae), resembling gulls, though typically smaller and slimmer.
[1670–80; < Dan terne or Norwegian terna, c. Old Norse therna]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


 set of three; trio; triplet; a group of three stanzas in poetry, 1856.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.tern - small slender gull having narrow wings and a forked tailtern - small slender gull having narrow wings and a forked tail
larid - long-winged web-footed aquatic bird of the gull family
sea swallow, Sterna hirundo - common tern of Eurasia and America having white black and grey plumage
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[tɜːn] Ngolondrina f de mar
common terncharrán m común
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


n (Zool) → Seeschwalbe f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
Whether whales feed on them I do not know; but terns, cormorants, and immense herds of great unwieldy seals derive, on some parts of the coast, their chief sustenance from these swimming crabs.
The former is a species of gannet, and the latter a tern. Both are of a tame and stupid disposition, and are so unaccustomed to visitors, that I could have killed any number of them with my geological hammer.
Well, one day when I was not around, one of these people came along -- it was a she one, this time -- and told a tale of the usual pat- tern. Her mistress was a captive in a vast and gloomy castle, along with forty-four other young and beautiful girls, pretty much all of them princesses; they had been languishing in that cruel captivity for twenty-six years; the masters of the castle were three stupendous brothers, each with four arms and one eye -- the eye in the center of the forehead, and as big as a fruit.
An estimated 3,000 terns survived last week's Typhoon Lekima to paint a small island near Matsu white with their feces.
As five assistant National Trust rangers packed up the tents which have been their home for three months at Long Nanny beach, they were celebrating the fledging of 54 little terns. The rangers have been protecting little terns against threats, ranging from predators and human disturbance to high tides and storms which can wipe out nesting areas.
Release date- 13082019 - FOSTER CITY - Terns Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative therapies to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cancer, today announced the interim results of an ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial of TERN-201, a semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase (SSAO) inhibitor, being developed for the treatment of NASH.
- China- and US-based biopharmaceutical company Terns Pharmaceuticals, Inc has received interim results of an ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial of TERN-201, a semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase inhibitor, being developed for the treatment of NASH, the company said.
The 1km length of shoreline at Long Nanny, south of Beadnell, is also an important breeding site for Arctic terns and ringer plover.
SIR, - We are pleased to read of the success of the colony of terns which have now fledged from the East Beach sands at the River Lossie, as reported (Press and Journal, July 30).
The cute Arctic Terns are reproducing on the main island of Dalkey, South Co Dublin, for the first time o n record.
Two pairs of Roseate Terns, our rarest seabird, have nested on The Skerries, each fledging two youngsters.
"Having spent a great deal of time over almost 30 years on Busaiteen beach bird-watching the Caspian terns, they are close to my heart.