Dictionary.com

kern

1
[ kurn ]
/ kɜrn /
Printing.
Save This Word!

Definition of kern

verb (used with object)
to remove a portion of space between (adjacent letters) in preparation for printing.
to form or furnish with a kern, as a type or letter.
noun
a part of the face of a type projecting beyond the body or shank, as in certain italic letters.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of kern

1
First recorded in 1675–85; from French carne “corner of type, nib of a quill pen,” ultimately from Latin cardin- (stem of cardō ) “hinge”

Other definitions for kern (2 of 7)

kern2
[ kurn ]
/ kɜrn /

noun Engineering.
the central area of any horizontal section of a wall, column, etc., within which the resultant forces of all compressive loads must pass if there is to be only compression at that point.

Origin of kern

2
From German Kern kernel; see kern4

Other definitions for kern (3 of 7)

kern3

or kerne

[ kurn ]
/ kɜrn /

noun Archaic.
a band of lightly armed foot soldiers of ancient Ireland.
(in Ireland and the Scottish Highlands) a soldier.
an Irish peasant, especially a crude or boorish one.

Origin of kern

3
First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English kerne, kaerne, from Irish ceithern “band of foot soldiers”; see also cateran

Other definitions for kern (4 of 7)

kern4
[ kurn ]
/ kɜrn /
British Dialect

verb (used without object)
(of a tree or plant) to produce or form kernels, hard grain, or seed.
verb (used with object)
to cause to granulate, especially to granulate salt.
to cover with crystalline grains of salt; salt (meat).
noun
Obsolete. a kernel, as of a nut; a grain, as of sand or wheat.

Origin of kern

4
First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English verb kirnen, kerne, keorne, kurne; akin to kirnelen “to develop or grow into seed”; see kernel

Other definitions for kern (5 of 7)

kern5
[ kurn ]
/ kɜrn /

verb (used with or without object), noun Scotland and North England.

Other definitions for kern (6 of 7)

kern6
[ kurn ]
/ kɜrn /

noun Scotland and North England.

Other definitions for kern (7 of 7)

Kern
[ kurn ]
/ kɜrn /

noun
Jerome (David), 1885–1945, U.S. composer.
a river in E California, in the Sierra Nevada, flowing S and SW to San Joaquin Valley. 155 miles (249 km) long.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use kern in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for kern (1 of 4)

kern1

kerne

/ (kɜːn) /

noun
the part of the character on a piece of printer's type that projects beyond the body
verb
(tr) to furnish (a typeface) with a kern

Word Origin for kern

C17: from French carne corner of type, projecting angle, ultimately from Latin cardō hinge

British Dictionary definitions for kern (2 of 4)

kern2
/ (kɜːn) /

noun
a lightly armed foot soldier in medieval Ireland or Scotland
a troop of such soldiers
archaic a loutish peasant

Word Origin for kern

C14: from Middle Irish cethern band of foot soldiers, from cath battle

British Dictionary definitions for kern (3 of 4)

kern3
/ (kɜːn) /

noun
engineering the central area of a wall, column, etc, through which all compressive forces pass

Word Origin for kern

from German Kern core, heart

British Dictionary definitions for kern (4 of 4)

Kern
/ (kɜːn) /

noun
Jerome (David). 1885–1945, US composer of musical comedies, esp Show Boat (1927)
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
FEEDBACK