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[val-keer-ee, -kahy-ree, vahl-, val-kuh-ree] /vælˈkɪər i, -ˈkaɪ ri, vɑl-, ˈvæl kə ri/
noun, Scandinavian Mythology.
any of the beautiful maidens attendant upon Odin who bring the souls of slain warriors chosen by Odin or Tyr to Valhalla and there wait upon them.
Also, Walkyrie.
Origin of Valkyrie
< Old Norse valkyrja chooser of the slain (cognate with Old English wælcyrie witch), equivalent to val(r) the slain in battle, slaughter (cognate with Old English wæl) + kyrja chooser (cognate with Old English cyrie); akin to choose
Related forms
Valkyrian, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Valkyrie
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A cloud-rack tore the void like a Valkyrie's cry made visible.

    The Dragon Painter

    Mary McNeil Fenollosa
  • They wrestled, Sigurd the first of heroes, and Brynhild, the Valkyrie.

    The Children of Odin Padraic Colum
  • Brynhild, with her Valkyrie's pride, was left with a mighty anger in her heart.

    The Children of Odin Padraic Colum
  • Brynhilda, the Valkyrie, swore that no one should marry her who could not fling her down.

    The Romany Rye George Borrow
  • I don't believe he knows himself what he is about some of the time in the Valkyrie.

    The Smart Set

    Clyde Fitch
  • In "Valkyrie" you think she is going to be burnt up, but in "Siegfried" she is saved after all.

    The Smart Set

    Clyde Fitch
British Dictionary definitions for Valkyrie


/vælˈkɪərɪ; ˈvælkɪərɪ/
(Norse myth) any of the beautiful maidens who serve Odin and ride over battlefields to claim the dead heroes and take them to Valhalla
Derived Forms
Valkyrian, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Old Norse Valkyrja, from valr slain warriors + köri to choose
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Valkyrie

1768, one of 12 war-maidens who escorted the brave dead to Valhalla, from Old Norse valkyrja, literally "chooser of the slain," from valr "those slain in battle" (see Valhalla) + kyrja "chooser," from ablaut root of kjosa "to choose," from Proto-Germanic *keusan, from PIE *geus- "to taste, choose" (see gusto). Old English form was Wælcyrie, but they seem not to have figured as largely in Anglo-Saxon tales as in Scandinavian. German Walküre (Wagner) is from Norse.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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