: 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

Example Sentences

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

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 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

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