least tern

noun

Definition of least tern

: a very small black-capped tern (Sterna antillarum) with a white body and forehead that is found chiefly in coastal areas of eastern North America and California

Examples of least tern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 2018 volunteers found dozens of least tern eggs stacked in piles, moved out of the way for a volleyball game in Alabama. Lisa J. Huriash, sun-sentinel.com, 5 July 2021 The day before, a drone went down in Bolsa Chica near nesting sites of the California least tern and the snowy plover. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2021 Of those species, 23 have special status, including the California least tern and Ridgway’s rail, which are endangered, and the Western snowy plover, which is classified as threatened. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2021 There are three populations of least terns in the United States. Seth Borenstein, USA TODAY, 10 Oct. 2019 There are three populations of least terns in the United States. Seth Borenstein, USA TODAY, 10 Oct. 2019 There are three populations of least terns in the United States. Seth Borenstein, USA TODAY, 10 Oct. 2019 There are three populations of least terns in the United States. Seth Borenstein, USA TODAY, 10 Oct. 2019 The interior least tern was once hunted for feathers for hats and hurt by the damming of major rivers. Washington Post, 23 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'least tern.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of least tern

circa 1860, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of least tern was circa 1860

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Cite this Entry

“Least tern.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/least%20tern. Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about least tern

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