any of several shorebirds (family Laridae) with webbed feet, a deeply forked tail, a straight bill, and a slender body; sea swallow
Origin of tern; from 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 ternas, accusative pl. of tern&imacron;, 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