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quern

[kwurn] /kwɜrn/
noun
1.
a primitive, hand-operated mill for grinding grain.
Origin
950
before 950; Middle English; Old English cweorn; akin to Old Norse kvern hand-mill
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for quern

quern

/kwɜːn/
noun
1.
a stone hand mill for grinding corn
Word Origin
Old English cweorn; related to Old Frisian quern, Old High German kurn, Old Norse kverna, Gothic quairnus millstone
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for quern
n.

Old English cweorn "hand-mill, mill," from PIE *gwere-na- "millstone" (cf. Old Norse kvern, Old Frisian quern, Old High German quirn, Gothic quirnus; Sanskrit grava "crushing stone;" Lithuanian girna "millstone," girnos "hand mills;" Old Church Slavonic zrunuvi "mills;" Welsh brevan "hand mill"), suffixed form of root *gwere- "heavy" (see grave (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for quern

ancient device for grinding grain. The saddle quern, consisting simply of a flat stone bed and a rounded stone to be operated manually against it, dates from Neolithic times (before 5600 BC). The true quern, a heavy device worked by slave or animal power, appeared by Roman times. Cato the Elder describes a 2nd-century-BC rotary quern consisting of a concave lower stone and a convex upper, turned by a pair of asses. Many such large querns were found in the ruins of Pompeii. The upper stone was set on a spindle that fitted into the lower. The ground grain passed down through holes in the lower stone

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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