There are 2 main definitions of kern in English:

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kern 1

Line breaks: kern


[with object]
1 (usually as noun kerning) Adjust the spacing between (characters) in a piece of text to be printed: there was not facility for accurate kerning on a global basis
More example sentences
  • 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.
2Provide (metal type or a printed character) with a kern: sometimes display type is kerned


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


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

Words that rhyme with kern

adjourn, astern, Berne, burn, churn, concern, discern, earn, fern, fohn, learn, Lucerne, quern, Sauternes, spurn, stern, Sterne, tern, terne, Traherne, turn, urn, Verne, yearn
Definition of kern in:
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There are 2 main definitions of kern in English:

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kern 2 Line breaks: kern
(also kerne)


1 historical A light-armed Irish foot soldier.
Example sentences
  • 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.
2 archaic A peasant; a rustic.


Late Middle English: from Irish ceithearn, from Old Irish ceithern 'band of foot soldiers'.

Definition of kern in:
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