rune

noun
\ˈrün \

Definition of rune 

1 : any of the characters of any of several alphabets used by the Germanic peoples from about the 3rd to the 13th centuries

2 : mystery, magic

3 [ Finnish runo, of Germanic origin; akin to Old Norse rūn ]

a : a Finnish or Old Norse poem

b : poem, song

Illustration of rune

Illustration of rune

rune 1: Anglo-Saxon runic alphabet

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rune

runic \ ˈrü-​nik \ adjective

Synonyms for rune

Synonyms

lyric, poem, song, verse

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of rune in a Sentence

wrote many mournful runes after her lover's untimely death

Recent Examples on the Web

It was likely adopted by Nazis as significant because of its alleged relationship to ancient Germanic runes and sagas — and perhaps even the round table of Britain's legendary King Arthur. Elizabeth Schumacher, USA TODAY, "Shakira selling Nazi-like trinket for 'El Dorado' tour," 21 June 2018 More blatant extremist symbols and racist slogans have largely disappeared from stadiums in recent years, often replaced with coded messages using Viking runes and other symbols with significance on the Russian far right. NBC News, "Anti-gay, racist chants on rise in Russia ahead of World Cup," 30 May 2018 Images captured by Getty photographer Spencer Platt show the group giving Nazi salutes while burning large effigies of a swastika and an othala rune — a pagan symbol associated with Aryanism — in the field behind the bar. Madeline Mcgee, ajc, "Rural Georgia bar hosts neo-Nazis for swastika-burning after rally," 27 Apr. 2018 His pictures show a massing burning swastika and an othala rune – a pagan symbol that was used by some elements of the Third Reich. Time, "Neo-Nazis Burned a Swastika After Their Rally in Georgia," 22 Apr. 2018 And outside of combat, Atreus contributes other unique skills that are vital to progress, like translating Norse runes that Kratos can’t read. Scott Meslow, GQ, "How God of War Redeems the Worst Kind of Video Game Mission," 18 Apr. 2018 No more fitting in a capital letter, a number, an ancient rune, a block of Chinese calligraphy and a family secret into a password? Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things for April 6: Trump, South Korea, opioids, race and police, CDC scientist," 6 Apr. 2018 Even so, the presence of the Tyr rune on the team’s sweater design was enough to raise alarms. Richard Martyn-hemphill, New York Times, "Norway Ski Team’s Sweater Gets Tangled in a Neo-Nazi Uproar," 30 Jan. 2018 The runes on the Silver Knight’s bow are great; the featureless fabric of the Dancer of the Boreal Valley’s cloak is not. Tom Mendelsohn, Ars Technica, "Dark Souls: The Board Game," 16 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rune.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of rune

1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rune

Old Norse & Old English rūn mystery, runic character, writing; akin to Old High German rūna secret discussion, Old Irish rún mystery

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rune

Dictionary Entries near rune

run down

Rundstedt

Rundu

rune

Runeberg

runed

runelike

Statistics for rune

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rune

The first known use of rune was in 1676

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rune

rune

noun

English Language Learners Definition of rune

: any of the characters in the alphabets that were used in ancient times by people of Northern Europe

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on rune

See words that rhyme with rune

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rune

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rune

Comments on rune

What made you want to look up rune? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!