[val-keer-ee, -kahy-ree, vahl-, val-kuh-ree]

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 formsVal·kyr·i·an, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for valkyrie

Contemporary Examples of valkyrie

Historical Examples of valkyrie

  • 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.

  • Brynhild, with her Valkyrie's pride, was left with a mighty anger in her heart.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for valkyrie


Walkyrie Valkyr (ˈvælkɪə)


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 FormsValkyrian, adjective

Word Origin for Valkyrie

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

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