Etymology
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tern (n.)

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

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Definitions of tern

tern (n.)
small slender gull having narrow wings and a forked tail;
From wordnet.princeton.edu