noun Printing.

  1. the setting of two letters closer together than is usual by removing space between them.


  1. a part of the face of a type projecting beyond the body or shank, as in certain italic letters.

verb (used with object)

  1. to form or furnish with a kern, as a type or letter.
  2. to remove a portion of space between (adjacent letters) in preparation for printing.

verb (used without object)

  1. (of a tree or plant) to produce or form kernels, hard grain, or seed.

verb (used with object)

  1. to cause to granulate, especially to granulate salt.
  2. to cover with crystalline grains of salt; salt (meat).


  1. Obsolete. a kernel, as of a nut; a grain, as of sand or wheat.

verb (used with or without object), noun Scot. and North England.

  1. churn.


  1. printing the adjustment of space between the letters of words to improve the appearance of text matter


  1. the part of the character on a piece of printer’s type that projects beyond the body


  1. (tr) to furnish (a typeface) with a kern


  1. a lightly armed foot soldier in medieval Ireland or Scotland
  2. a troop of such soldiers
  3. archaic a loutish peasant


  1. engineering the central area of a wall, column, etc, through which all compressive forces pass


  1. Jerome (David). 1885–1945, US composer of musical comedies, esp Show Boat (1927)

1680s, “part of a metal type projecting beyond the body,” as the head of an -f- or the tail of a -j-, from French carne “projecting angle, quill of a pen,” from Latin cardinem “hinge.”

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