Definition of terne in English:



mass noun
  • 1A lead alloy containing about 20 per cent tin and often some antimony.

    • ‘Long terne steel sheet is carbon steel sheet that has been continuously coated by various hot dip processes with terne metal.’
    • ‘One of the oldest types of roofing, terne metal, thus lends itself to many dramatic new applications in the contemporary idiom.’
    • ‘This material is commonly known as terne and is used where ease of solderability and a degree of corrosion resistance are desirable.’
    • ‘The Acrymax tin roof restoration or preservation systems are based on the concept that ‘tin’ or terne metal when properly protected can provide the base for an extremely long lasting and durable roofing system.’
    • ‘Standing seam metal roofs of copper or terne metal are found on many older homes and are a good choice for those who want to maintain that original appearance.’
    1. 1.1 Thin sheet iron or steel coated with terne.
      • ‘A major producer of electrolytic and hot-dipped tinplate, the Yorkville works also manufactures black plate and terne plate.’
      • ‘Sheet metal, lead, copper, zinc, tin plate, terne plate, and galvanized iron have all been used as roofing materials.’
      • ‘In addition, any moisture that is trapped between the terne plate and paint film can be a source of oxygen.’
      • ‘The earlier systems could only weld terne plate, and the accuracy of the welded assembly was a problem.’


Mid 19th century (denoting terne plate): probably from French terne ‘dull, tarnished’.