[ roon ]
See synonyms for: runerunes on

  1. any of the characters of certain ancient alphabets, as of a script used for writing the Germanic languages, especially of Scandinavia and Britain, from c200 to c1200, or a script used for inscriptions in a Turkic language of the 6th to 8th centuries from the area near the Orkhon River in Mongolia.

  2. something written or inscribed in such characters.

  1. an aphorism, poem, or saying with mystical meaning or for use in casting a spell.

Origin of rune

First recorded in 1675–85; from Old Norse rūn “secret, writing, runic character”; cognate with Old English rūn, Middle English rune, obsolete English roun; see round2

Other words from rune

  • runelike, adjective

Words Nearby rune

Other definitions for rune (2 of 2)

[ roon ]

  1. a poem, song, or verse.

Origin of rune

First recorded in 1865–70; from Finnish runo “poem, canto,” from Scandinavian; see rune1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rune in a sentence

  • Then, stooping, she said slowly the few lines of the old, old rune.

  • What is the rune that is said for the throwing into the sea of the sins of the dead?

  • So this dear, deluded old gentleman, having failed to secure a 'rune' in Java brought back something equally cryptic—a woman?

    Cleek, the Master Detective | Thomas W. Hanshew

British Dictionary definitions for rune


/ (ruːn) /

  1. any of the characters of an ancient Germanic alphabet, derived from the Roman alphabet, in use, esp in Scandinavia, from the 3rd century ad to the end of the Middle Ages. Each character was believed to have a magical significance

  2. any obscure piece of writing using mysterious symbols

  1. a kind of Finnish poem or a stanza in such a poem

Origin of rune

Old English rūn, from Old Norse rūn secret; related to Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic runa

Derived forms of rune

  • runic, adjective

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