dern (plural derns)

  1. (obsolete) A secret; secrecy.
  2. (obsolete) A secret place; hiding.
  3. (obsolete) An obscure language.
  4. (obsolete) Darkness; obscurity.


  1. (obsolete) Hidden; secret; private.
    • , Dr. H. More, Immortal, of the Soul
      Now with their backs to the den's mouth they sit, / Yet shoulder not all light from the dern pit.
    • , J. R. Drake, Culprit Fay
      Through dreary beds of tangled fern, / Through groves of nightshade dark and dern.

dern (derns, present participle derning; past and past participle derned)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To hide; secrete, as in a hole.
    • He at length escaped them by derning himself in a fox-earth.
  2. (intransitive, obsolete) To hide oneself; skulk.
    • But look how soon they heard of Holoferne / Their courage quail'd, and they began to derne.

dern (plural derns)

  1. (UK) A gatepost or doorpost.
    • , Charles Kingsley, Westward Ho!, Ch. XIV, How Salvation Yeo Slew the King of the Gubbings
      So I just put my eye between the wall and the dern of the gate, and I saw him come up to the back door […]

This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy 0.006
Offline English dictionary