Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Sheet iron or steel plated with an alloy of three or four parts of lead to one part of tin, used as a roofing material.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Thin iron sheeting coated with an alloy of lead and tin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Thin iron sheets coated with an alloy of lead and tin; -- so called because made up of three metals.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An inferior kind of tin-plate, in making which the tin used is alloyed with a large percentage of lead.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Probably French terne, dull (from Old French; see tarnish) + plate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

So called because made from three metals. See tern (adjective) and plate.

Examples

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