or lu·cern


Origin of lucerne

1620–30; alteration (by association with Latin lucerna lamp) of French luzerne < Provençal luzerno glowworm (the plant was so called in allusion to its bright seeds); akin to Old Provençal luzerna lamp < Vulgar Latin *lūcerna, for Latin lucerna. See lucid


[loo-surn; French ly-sern]
  1. a canton in central Switzerland. 576 sq. mi. (1490 sq. km).
  2. the capital of this canton, on Lake of Lucerne.
  3. Lake of. Also called Lake of the Four Forest Cantons. a lake in central Switzerland. 24 miles (39 km) long; 44 sq. mi. (114 sq. km).
German Luzern. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lucerne

Historical Examples of lucerne

  • If he had known it, it was with the Dance of Death on the bridge of Lucerne.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • Should I really have cared so much for Lucerne and Nuremberg if you hadn't been with me?

  • Once he has been in Paris, where I met him, and once to Lucerne for a fortnight.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • And, in any event, on such a journey Lucerne must come first.


    Beatrice Fortescue

  • They always have boats there to take people that come along this road to Lucerne.

British Dictionary definitions for lucerne


  1. British another name for alfalfa


  1. a canton in central Switzerland, northwest of Lake Lucerne: joined the Swiss Confederacy in 1332. Pop: 352 300 (2002 est). Area: 1494 sq km (577 sq miles)
  2. a city in central Switzerland, capital of Lucerne canton, on Lake Lucerne: tourist centre. Pop: 59 496 (2000)
  3. Lake Lucerne a lake in central Switzerland: fed and drained chiefly by the River Reuss. Area: 115 sq km (44 sq miles)German name: Vierwaldstättersee
German name (for senses 1 and 2): Luzern
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