[ kwurn ]
/ kwɜrn /


a primitive, hand-operated mill for grinding grain.

Origin of quern

before 950; Middle English; Old English cweorn; akin to Old Norse kvern hand-mill
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for quern


/ (kwɜːn) /


a stone hand mill for grinding corn

Word Origin for quern

Old English cweorn; related to Old Frisian quern, Old High German kurn, Old Norse kverna, Gothic quairnus millstone
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

Word Origin and History for quern



Old English cweorn "hand-mill, mill," from PIE *gwere-na- "millstone" (cf. Old Norse kvern, Old Frisian quern, Old High German quirn, Gothic quirnus; Sanskrit grava "crushing stone;" Lithuanian girna "millstone," girnos "hand mills;" Old Church Slavonic zrunuvi "mills;" Welsh brevan "hand mill"), suffixed form of root *gwere- "heavy" (see grave (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper