rood

[rood]
noun
1.
a crucifix, especially a large one at the entrance to the choir or chancel of a medieval church, often supported on a rood beam or rood screen.
2.
a cross as used in crucifixion.
3.
a unit of length varying locally from 5½ to 8 yards (5 to 7 meters).
4.
a unit of land measure equal to 40 square rods or ¼ acre (0.10117 hectare).
5.
a unit of 1 square rod (25.29 sq. m).
6.
Archaic. the cross on which Christ died.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English; Old English rōd pole, crucifix; cognate with German Rute rod, twig

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rood (ruːd)
 
n
1.  a.  a crucifix, esp one set on a beam or screen at the entrance to the chancel of a church
 b.  (as modifier): rood beam; rood arch; rood screen
2.  the Cross on which Christ was crucified
3.  a unit of area equal to one quarter of an acre or 0.10117 hectares
4.  a unit of area equal to 40 square rods
 
[Old English rōd; related to Old Saxon rōda, Old Norse rōtha]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

rood
O.E. rod "pole," varying from 6 to 8 yards, also "cross," especially that upon which Christ suffered, also "measure of land," prop. 40 square poles or perches, from P.Gmc. *rodo (cf. O.S. ruoda "stake, pile, cross," O.Fris. rode, M.Du. roede, O.H.G. ruota, Ger. Rute "rod"), probably connected with the
root of rod. Klein suggests a connection between this group and L. ratis "raft," retae "trees standing on the bank of a stream;" O.C.S. ratiste "spear, staff," Lith. rekles "scaffolding."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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