Main definitions of kern in English

: kern1kern2

kern1

verb

[with object]
  • 1Adjust the spacing between (characters) in a piece of text to be printed.

    ‘please kern the double underscores in the code below’
    • ‘Although, I am pleased and happily surprised that words like superscript, subscript, proportionally spaced fonts, kerning, etc. are being used in the mainstream media, I don't believe anyone is really listening.’
    • ‘Cease any talk of font analysis, kerning, superscripts or anything else of a typographical nature.’
    • ‘The typesetting shows problems as well, and the kerning and word-spacing in some lines is so awkward as to render the line almost unreadable.’
    • ‘You know the arguments over the superscript, the kerning, the proportional spacing.’
  • 2Provide (metal type or a printed character) with a kern.

    ‘sometimes display type is kerned’

noun

  • The part of a metal type projecting beyond the body or shank, or a part of a printed character that overlaps its neighbours.

Origin

Late 17th century perhaps from French carne ‘corner’, from Latin cardo, cardin- ‘hinge’.

Pronunciation

kern

/kəːn/

Main definitions of kern in English

: kern1kern2

kern2

(also kerne)

noun

  • 1historical A light-armed Irish foot soldier.

    • ‘Composition involved, in Gaelic parts, the commutation of the chief's right to take up supplies for his household and quarter his kerne and galloglass on his subjects for defence.’
    • ‘The crude unsigned illustrations depict the activities of the Irish kern, while the refined signed cuts offer images of a resplendent English contingent led by Sir Henry Sidney in the name of the Queen.’
    • ‘Recruiting large numbers of Gaelic kern, they then invaded England, landing at Furness in Lancashire, and immediately made for Richard III's old power base in north Yorkshire.’
    • ‘An armed company of the kerne, carrying halberds and pikes and led by a piper, attack and burn a farmhouse and drive off the horses and cattle.’
  • 2archaic A peasant; a rustic.

    bumpkin, country bumpkin, country cousin, rustic, countryman, countrywoman, country dweller, daughter of the soil, son of the soil, peasant, provincial, oaf, lout, boor, barbarian

Origin

Late Middle English from Irish ceithearn, from Old Irish ceithern ‘band of foot soldiers’.

Pronunciation

kern

/kəːn/