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Related to tern: arctic tern, Common Tern

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 ?
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.
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.
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.
Status of the interior population of least tern. Journal of Wildlife Management 63:470-483.
Little tern and chicks at the Long Nanny site in Northumberland
The 1km length of shoreline at Long Nanny, south of Beadnell, is also an important breeding site for Arctic terns and ringer plover.
This is thanks to management from BirdWatch Ireland staff and volunteers, support and funding from the EU LIFE Roseate Tern Recovery Project and Dun
Two pairs of Roseate Terns, our rarest seabird, have nested on The Skerries, each fledging two youngsters.
Ajay, who is a Geographical Information Systems specialist at the Ministry of Interior, captured the terrific tern image much closer to his home in Hoora, during a wildlife photographic reconnaissance to Busaiteen beach.
The road between the Tern Hill and Muller roundabouts will be shut overnight on May 23 from 8pm to 6am so that studs can be removed.
Tern, D-Phoenix, sought to have the bill held from the committee hearing - which she was promised would be a "circus," she said - after learning that the original language went far beyond her intent.
The streamlined shape of a common tern is pretty distinctive, while it is easily distinguished from the similar arctic tern by the black tip to its red bill.