Hypertext Webster Gateway: "Tern"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Tern \Tern\ (t[~e]rn), n. [Dan. terne, t[ae]rne; akin to Sw.
t["a]rna, Icel. [thorn]erna; cf. NL. sterna.] (Zo["o]l.)
Any one of numerous species of long-winged aquatic birds,
allied to the gulls, and belonging to {Sterna} and various
allied genera.

Note: Terns differ from gulls chiefly in their graceful form,
in their weaker and more slender bills and feet, and
their longer and more pointed wings. The tail is
usually forked. Most of the species are white with the
back and wings pale gray, and often with a dark head.
The common European tern ({Sterna hirundo}) is found
also in Asia and America. Among other American species
are the arctic tern ({S. paradis[ae]a}), the roseate
tern ({S. Dougalli}), the least tern ({S. Antillarum}),
the royal tern ({S. maxima}), and the sooty tern ({S.

{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 {Se["e]na} 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.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Tern \Tern\, a. [L. pl. terni three each, three; akin to tres
three. See {Three}, and cf. {Trine}.]
Threefold; triple; consisting of three; ternate.

{Tern flowers} (Bot.), flowers growing three and three

{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.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Tern \Tern\, n. [F. terne. See {Tern}, a.]
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.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n : small slender gull having narrow wings and a forked tail

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