Tern

Definition of Tern

Pronunciation: tẽrn
n.1.(Zool.) Any one of numerous species of long-winged aquatic birds, allied to the gulls, and belonging to Sterna and various allied genera.
Hooded tern
See Fairy bird, under Fairy.
Marsh tern
any tern of the genus Hydrochelidon. They frequent marshes and rivers and feed largely upon insects.
River tern
any tern belonging to Seëna or allied genera which frequent rivers.
Sea tern
any tern of the genus Thalasseus. Terns of this genus have very long, pointed wings, and chiefly frequent seas and the mouths of large rivers.
a.1.Threefold; triple; consisting of three; ternate.
Tern flowers
(Bot.) flowers growing three and three together.
Tern leaves
(Bot.) leaves arranged in threes, or three by three, or having three in each whorl or set.
Tern peduncles
(Bot.) three peduncles growing together from the same axis.
Tern schooner
(Naut.) a three-masted schooner.
n.1.That which consists of, or pertains to, three things or numbers together; especially, a prize in a lottery resulting from the favorable combination of three numbers in the drawing; also, the three numbers themselves.
She'd win a tern in Thursday's lottery.
- Mrs. Browning.

Related Words

larid, sea swallow, Sterna hirundo, Sterninae, subfamily Sterninae
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