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kern 1also kerne (kûrn)
1. A medieval Scottish or Irish foot soldier.
2. A loutish person.
[Middle English kerne, from Middle Irish ceithern, ceithernn, band of soldiers, from Old Irish.]
kern 2(kûrn) Printing
The portion of a typeface that projects beyond the body or shank of a character.
tr.v. kerned, kern·ing, kerns
1. To provide (type) with a kern.
2. To adjust space between (characters) in typeset text.
[French carne, corner, from Old North French, from Latin cardō, cardin-, hinge.]
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.
(Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) printing the adjustment of space between the letters of words to improve the appearance of printed text
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014