from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of the characters in several alphabets used by ancient Germanic peoples from the 3rd to the 13th century.
- n. A similar character in another alphabet, sometimes believed to have magic powers.
- n. A poem or incantation of mysterious significance, especially a magic charm.
- n. A Finnish poem or section of a poem.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A letter, or character, belonging to the written language of various ancient Germanic peoples, especially the Scandinavians and the Anglo-Saxons.
- n. A Finnish poem, or a division of one, especially a division of the Kalevala.
- n. Any verse or song, especially one with mystical or mysterious overtones; an incantation.
- n. A roun.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A letter, or character, belonging to the written language of the ancient Norsemen, or Scandinavians; in a wider sense, applied to the letters of the ancient nations of Northern Europe in general.
- n. Old Norse poetry expressed in runes.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A letter or character used by the peoples of northern Europe from an early period to the eleventh century; in the plural, the ancient Scandinavian alphabets, believed to be derived from a Greek source; especially, the letters carved on stones, weapons, etc., found in Scandinavia, Scotland, and Ireland. Runes are found in almost all the maritime parts of Europe.
- n. A short mystic sentence embodying the wisdom of the old Northern philosophers.
- n. A secret; mystery; obscure saying.
- n. Early rimes or poetry expressed, or which might be expressed, in runic characters.
- n. Any song, poem, verse, or the like, which is mystically or obscurely expressed.
- n. An obsolete variant of rine, run.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. any character from an ancient Germanic alphabet used in Scandinavia from the 3rd century to the Middle Ages
Old Norse or Old English rūn.
Finnish runo, of Germanic origin.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old Norse rún. Compare roun. (Wiktionary)