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  1. terne metal.
  2. terneplate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for terne

Historical Examples

  • Terne plate is sheet-iron coated with an alloy of lead and tin.

    Commercial Geography

    Jacques W. Redway

  • Close to the Terne stood a beautiful old black and white farmhouse called Petsey.

  • All was altered, except the Terne flowing through reedy meadows.

  • At the second drawing a terne of forty thousand francs obliged me to borrow money.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • Only the simple drawing, the ambe and the terne to be retained; the quarterne and the quine to be abolished.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

British Dictionary definitions for terne


  1. Also called: terne metal an alloy of lead containing tin (10–20 per cent) and antimony (1.5–2 per cent)
  2. Also called: terne plate steel plate coated with this alloy

Word Origin

C16: perhaps from French terne dull, from Old French ternir to tarnish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012