Common-tern



noun
1.
See under 1 .
[turn] /tɜrn/
noun
1.
any of numerous aquatic birds of the subfamily Sterninae of the family Laridae, related to the gulls but usually having a more slender body and bill, smaller feet, a long, deeply forked tail, and a more graceful flight, especially those of the genus Sterna, as S. hirundo (common tern) of Eurasia and America, having white, black, and gray plumage.
/tɜːn/
noun
1.
any aquatic bird of the subfamily Sterninae, having a forked tail, long narrow wings, a pointed bill, and a typically black-and-white plumage: family Laridae (gulls, etc), order Charadriiformes
/tɜːn/
noun
1.
a three-masted schooner
2.
(rare) a group of three
n.

gull-like shore bird (subfamily Sterninae), 1670s, via East Anglian dialect, from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish terne, Swedish tärna, Færoese terna) related to Old Norse þerna “tern,” cognate with Old English stearn “starling.”

adjective

Extreme; unmitigated: Terminal cuteness is the dread disease of too much Southern writing

[1990s+; based on the medical sense ”fatal, incurable”]

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