Rune, Runa [from Swedish runa, Icelandic run] Originally a mystery, equivalent to the Greek theo-sophia (divine wisdom), which is the goal of human existence and the aim of evolution; later used for a sign or character which, inscribed on a stick, stone, or even furniture, was believed to have magical properties. A grammarian or one versed in the art of language was called runa-meistari (rune-master), one who knew how to read and write runes correctly. In Havamal -- a long poem of the Elder Edda -- Odin relates how he "hung nine nights in the windtorn tree" (of life), seeking runes of wisdom (in the material worlds), and that he "raised them with song." It is said that Odin first invented runes and carved them on various beneficent agencies that safeguard human life on earth. One is carved on the shield Grimnismal that "stands before the shining god; mountain and billion would burn away should he fall aside." Another rune is inscribed on the ear of Arvakrand one on the hoof of Allsvinn (the horses that draw the solar disk across the sky); one is on the reins of Sleipnir, Odin's steed, one on the paw of the bear, another on the tongue of Bragi (poetic inspiration), on the claws of the wolf and on the eagle's beak, on the rainbow bridge (Bifrost); on glass, on gold, on wine, on herb; on Vili's heart and Odin's spear, on the nails of the Norns, etc. All were later scraped off, mixed with the holy mead of wisdom, and distributed throughout the three worlds for the benefit of gods and men.
rune \rune\ (r&udd;n), n. [as. rūn a rune, a secret, a mystery; akin to icel. rūn, ohg. & goth. rūna a secret, secret colloquy, g. & dan. rune rune, and probably to gr. 'ereyna^n to search for. cf. roun to whisper.] 1. 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. note: the norsemen had a peculiar alphabet, consisting of sixteen letters, or characters, called runes, the origin of which is lost in the remotest antiquity. the signification of the word rune (mystery) seems to allude to the fact that originally only a few were acquainted with the use of these marks, and that they were mostly applied to secret tricks, witchcrafts and enchantments. but the runes were also used in communication by writing. 2. pl. old norse poetry expressed in runes. runes were upon his tongue, as on the warrior's sword. rune stone, a stone bearing a runic inscription. rune n : any character from an ancient germanic alphabet used in scandinavia from the 3rd century to the middle ages; "each rune had its own magical significance" [syn: runic letter ]
Runes (Proto-Norse: (runo), Old Norse: rún) are the letters in a set of related alphabets known as runic alphabets, which were used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet and for specialised purposes thereafter. The Scandinavian variants are also known as futhark or fuþark (derived from their first six letters of the alphabet: F, U, Þ, A, R, and K); the Anglo-Saxon variant is futhorc or fuþorc (due to sound changes undergone in Old English by the names of those six letters).
Noun 1. any character from an ancient Germanic alphabet used in Scandinavia from the 3rd century to the Middle Ages; "each rune had its own magical significance" (synonym) runic letter (hypernym) character, grapheme, graphic symbol (hyponym) thorn
A tool of magick and divination. There are many types of runes, all of them alphabets of some sort. Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and modern Wiccan runes are just a few. They are usually tossed randomly after deciding a subject, and then decifered based on their positioning.
Old Norse poetry expressed in runes. (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.
Characters first devised by Daeron of Doriath. A system of writing based on angular shapes that could easily be carved into wood or stone. Originated by Daeron of Doriath to represent Sindarin words, runes came to be used widely by races other than the Elves, and especially by the Dwarves.