: a cross or crucifix symbolizing the cross on which Jesus Christ died
specifically : a large crucifix on a beam or screen at the entrance to the chancel of a church
: any of various units of land area
especially : a British unit equal to ¹/₄ acre
: any of various units of length
especially : a British unit equal to seven or eight yards or sometimes a rod

Examples of rood in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Their blocky shield motifs reference the Moorish wall carvings at the Alhambra palace complex in Granada, Spain, and geometric forms are a nod to patterns found in the 15th-century rood screens at St. Enodoc, a chapel that was famously buried beneath Cornwall’s sand dunes for more than 300 years. Aimee Farrell Emli Bendixen, New York Times, 10 Nov. 2023 Laypeople were separated from services by a large rood screen and would not have understood what was being said. Yuliya Parshina-Kottas, New York Times, 3 Mar. 2023 In Eastern Orthodox liturgies, the Eucharist is brought out from behind the rood screens. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 30 Mar. 2020 Beyond the house, the road meandered upward past more villas, then dustily through a cluster of old cottages around the medieval parish church, which had a distinguished rood screen. Tessa Hadley, The New Yorker, 21 Oct. 2019 The rood screen, studded with sculptures, was pulled down. National Geographic, 15 Apr. 2019 The flowers fill the front of the church and attach to the rood screen, a traditional decorative screen that separates the parishioners from the clergy. Danika Worthington, The Denver Post, 15 Apr. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rood.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Old English rōd rod, rood; akin to Old High German ruota rod and perhaps to Old Russian ratište lance

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rood was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near rood

Cite this Entry

“Rood.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

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