\ ˈrün How to pronounce rune (audio) \

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
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

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Other Words from rune

runic \ ˈrü-​nik How to pronounce rune (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for rune


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Examples of rune in a Sentence

wrote many mournful runes after her lover's untimely death
Recent Examples on the Web There are also reusable runes scattered throughout the map that let the player break the usual movement rules in a number of ways. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Spellbreak beta stands out from the copycat battle royale crowd," 3 Mar. 2020 But the sweater features a symbol known as the Tyr rune, which neo-Nazis want to claim as their own. Richard Martyn-hemphill, New York Times, "Norway Ski Team’s Sweater Gets Tangled in a Neo-Nazi Uproar," 30 Jan. 2018 Venezuelans playing RuneScape can earn 500,000-2m gold pieces an hour by mass-murdering dragons and mass-producing runes. The Economist, "Fantasy economics Venezuela’s paper currency is worthless, so its people seek virtual gold," 21 Nov. 2019 There’s also a lot of talk about spirits and runes that’s needlessly convoluted, along with a magical island that’s full of ice and exposition, and everything that happens there is confusing and hard to follow. Nick Romano,, "Frozen 2 reviews: Is the magic still there for Disney's animated sequel?," 14 Nov. 2019 But others resembled runes, astrological diagrams, or alchemical signs. Geoff Manaugh, The New Yorker, "Witch Houses of the Hudson Valley," 31 Oct. 2019 The country’s individual investors are adept at reading the regulatory runes. Washington Post, "China’s Ready to Party Like It’s 2015 Again," 20 Sep. 2019 There is little evidence that the rune originally had any symbolic significance beyond its sound value, but the letter shares the name of a Norse deity popularly understood as the god of war, Tyr. Richard Martyn-hemphill, New York Times, "Norway Ski Team’s Sweater Gets Tangled in a Neo-Nazi Uproar," 30 Jan. 2018 That said, FedEx’s failures—to respond more quickly to the changing e-commerce landscape, to read the runes of geopolitics and to end its stubborn refusal to join its two businesses—reflect a company whose management is long in the tooth. The Economist, "FedEx’s visionary founder is a disrupter at risk of disruption," 15 Aug. 2019

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.

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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

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Cite this Entry

“Rune.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce rune (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rune

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

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rune Encyclopedia article about rune

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