\ ˈərn How to pronounce erne (audio) , ˈern How to pronounce erne (audio) \

Definition of erne

: eagle especially : a long-winged sea eagle (Haliäetus albicilla) with a short white wedge-shaped tail

Did You Know?

What do ernes, crows, finches, wrens, owls, and sparrows have in common (besides feathers and beaks and other avian traits)? Wing your way through one thousand years of ornithological and etymological history, and you will alight on an Old English lexicon wherein these birds had basically the same names as they have now. Their names were spelled a little differently back then: "earn," "crāwe," "finc," "wrenna," "Ūle," and "spearwa." All those avian names are also birds of a feather in that their ancestors are akin to Old High German words: arn, "krāwa," "fincho," "rentilo," "uwila," and "sparo," respectively.

First Known Use of erne

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for erne

Middle English, from Old English earn; akin to Old High German arn eagle, Greek ornis bird

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The first known use of erne was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Erne.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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