great crested tern


: a large tern (Sterna bergii synonym Thalasseus bergii) of Africa, Asia, and Australia with a yellow bill and prominent black crest
My fellow expedition members brandished binoculars and pointed out birds on a sandbar: purple herons, great crested ternsHenry Allen, Forbes, 9 May 1994

called also crested tern, greater crested tern, large crested tern

Word History

First Known Use

1994, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of great crested tern was in 1994

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near great crested tern

Cite this Entry

“Great crested tern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Fashionable Words

  • dog-sunglasses-scarf
  • Which of these items is named for a deadly weapon?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?