TERN, noun [Latin sterna.] A common name of certain aquatic fowls of the genus Sterna; as the great tern or sea swallow, (S. hirundo, )
the black tern the lesser tern or hooded tern and the foolish tern or noddy, (S. stolida.) The brown tern or brown gull, (S. obscura, ) is considered as the young of the pewit gull or sea-crow, before molting.
TERN, adjective [Latin ternus.] Threefold; consisting of three.
TERN leaves, in threes, or three by three; expressing the number of leaves in each whorl or set.
TERN peduncles, three growing together from the same axil.
TERN flowers, growing three and three together.