erne

noun \ ˈərn , ˈern \

Definition of erne

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

erne was our Word of the Day on 10/15/2007. Hear the podcast!

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.

Origin and Etymology of erne

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


Learn More about erne


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up erne? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

the quality or fact of being simultaneous

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's That From? A Word Origin Quiz

  • turris-babel-by-athanasius-kircher
  • What language gave the word robot to English?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!