any of several shorebirds (family Laridae) with webbed feet, a deeply forked tail, a straight bill, and a slender body; sea swallow
Origin of ternfrom Old Norse therna, via eastern; English Anglian dialect, dialectal ; akin to Old English stearna
Any of various seabirds primarily of the genus Sterna found worldwide, typically smaller than a gull and having a forked tail.
Origin of ternOf Scandinavian origin
- Games A set of three, especially a combination of three numbers that wins a lottery.
- A three-masted schooner.
Origin of ternMiddle 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.
From a Scandinavian language, related to Danish terne, Swedish tÃ¤rna, ultimately from Old Norse Ã¾erna