tern

Definitions

  • black tern
    black tern
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n tern small slender gull having narrow wings and a forked tail
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Arctic Tern, which is a small bird, can fly a round trip from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back. This can be as long as twenty thousand miles per year. This is the longest migration for a bird
    • n Tern tẽrn (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of long-winged aquatic birds, allied to the gulls, and belonging to Sterna and various allied genera.☞ 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 (Sterna paradisæa), the roseate tern (Sterna Dougalli), the least tern (Sterna Antillarum), the royal tern (Sterna maxima), and the sooty tern (Sterna fuliginosa).
    • n Tern 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."
    • a Tern Threefold; triple; consisting of three; ternate.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n tern A bird of the family Laridæ and subfamily Sterninæ; a stern or seaswallow. Terns differ from gulls in their smaller average size (though a few of them are much larger than some gulls), slenderer body, usually long and deeply forked tail, very small feet, and especially in the relatively longer and slenderer bill, which is paragnathous instead of hypognathous (but some of the stouter terns, as the gull-billed, are little different in this respect from some of the smaller gulls, as of the genus Chroicocephalus). To the slender form of the body, with sharp-pointed wings and forficate tail, conferring a buoyant and dashing flight, the terns owe their name sea-swallow. The characteristic coloration is snow-white, sometimes rose-tinted, with pearly-blue mantle, silver-black primaries, jet-black cap, and coralred, yellow, or black bill and feet; some terns (the noddies) are sooty-brown. A few are chiefly black (genus Hydrochelidon); some have a black mantle (Sterna fuliginosa, the sooty tern, type of the subgenus Haliplana); the genus Gygis is pure-white; and Inca is slaty-black, with curly white plumes on the head. Several species abound in most countries, both inland over large bodies of water and coastwise, and some of them are almost cosmopolitan in their range. The sexes are alike in color, but the changes of plumage with age and season are considerable. The eggs, two or three in number, and heavily spotted, are laid on the ground (rarely in a frail nest on bushes), generally on the shingle of the sea-shore, sometimes in a tussock of grass in marshes. Most terns congregate in large numbers during the breeding-season. (See egg-bird.) The voice is peculiarly shrill and querulous; the food is small fishes and other aquatic animals, procured by dashing down into the water on the wing. From 50 to 75 species are recognized by different ornithologists, mostly belonging to the genns Sterna or its subdivisions. See phrases below.
    • n tern A black tern; any member of the genus Hydrochelidon. See cut under Hydrochelidon.
    • tern Same as ternate.
    • n tern That which consists of three things or numbers together; specifically, a prize in a lottery gained by drawing three favorable numbers, or the three numbers so drawn.
    • n tern In mathematics, a system of three pairs of conjugate trihedra which together contain the twenty-seven straight lines lying in a cubic surface.
    • n tern A threemasted schooner; a three-master.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Tern tėrn a long-winged aquatic fowl allied to the gull
    • adj Tern tėrn threefold: consisting of three: growing in threes
    • n Tern that which consists of three things or numbers together: a prize in a lottery got by drawing three favourable numbers
    • n Tern the number three
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Dan. terne, tærne,; akin to Sw. tärna, Icel. þerna,; cf. NL. sterna,

Usage

In literature:

Terns and gulls, at lazy rest, floated close to the yacht's side.
"The Simpkins Plot" by George A. Birmingham
Date Teep Vatsen, he so foony as allt tern utter peoples put tergetter.
"Mingo" by Joel Chandler Harris
Ducks and terns as well as gull things.
"King o' the Beach" by George Manville Fenn
The bow and tern were made of hewn planks in a circular form, fastened with wooden pins.
"On the Banks of the Amazon" by W.H.G. Kingston
Terns, circling somewhere up above, cry to each other shrilly.
"Priscilla's Spies" by George A. Birmingham
The whole band swoops and divides, like a flock of swift-winged terns on a windy day.
"Blazed Trail Stories" by Stewart Edward White
But this whole district, extending from Longdon-upon-Tern to Aqualate, was once, there can be no doubt, covered with water.
"Country Walks of a Naturalist with His Children" by W. Houghton
The glaucous gulls' plunderer, the skua, and its chastiser the bold tern, were also observed, as were a few barnacle geese.
"The Voyage of the Vega round Asia and Europe, Volume I and Volume II" by A.E. Nordenskieold
Lupin followed the same road, passed through the Porte des Ternes again, and entered the house on the Place Saint-Ferdinand.
"The Blonde Lady" by Maurice Leblanc
The common tern lays its eggs amongst rough stones, where you would think that anything so fragile as an egg would easily get broken.
"The Children's Book of London" by Geraldine Edith Mitton
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In poetry:

Sea-mew, White Sea-Hawk and Raven,
All the fleet at evening swings
Quietly in this western haven,
Murmuring at their mooring-rings:
Tern and Solan Goose and Raven
Where the moorland curlew sings.
"Johnnie of the Silver Feather" by Hamish Maclaren

In news:

Caspian Tern numbers up on Lake Champlain.
That's the sound of a tern, a small gull-like bird, bouncing off Joel Helander's hard hat.
Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans), by Andy Nguyen.
Oversees a study of common terns, which has been on-going for more than four decades.
An Arctic tern in flight.
The Long Tern Health Benefits of Therapeutic Massage.
Tern 's folding cargo bike.
The Cargo Joe C21 combines Tern 's folding Joe C21 with Xtracycle's "FreeRadical Classic" kit.
TELLING DETAIL She never tires of the 24-hour screeching song of the terns .
Last week's high water event at the lake is partially to blame for the early departure of the nesting arctic terns in the area.
Tern 's sponsorship of the November 5-7 summit in Los Angeles will help bring together advocacy leaders who will work on an ambitious plan for the state's cycling future in 2012 and beyond.
Disturbing least terns is a very big no-no.
Arctic Terns are virtually always shorter-legged than Common Terns .
What to look for to tell apart beautiful, long-winged Arctic, Common, and Forster's Terns .
I now see that sandwich terns are easy too.
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In science:

Terning, “Large N QCD from rotating branes”, Phys.
Large N field theories from superstrings
First we shall show that the G(D (n) ) action on (Q± terns and free irreducibility of words.
On a series of finite automata defining free transformation groups
Terning, Negative Contributions To S From Ma jorana Particles, Phys.
Natural fourth generation of leptons
When the canonical map iU : V → U (V , c, β ) is injective, the tern (V , c, β ) was called a braided Lie algebra in [Ar2, Definition 4.1].
A Milnor-Moore Type Theorem for Primitively Generated Braided Bialgebras
Terning, “Cosmology of brane models with radion stabilization,” Phys.
Brane World Cosmologies with Varying Speed of Light
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