1. A representation in sculpture or in painting of the cross with christ hanging on it.
Generally, the trinity is represented, the father as an elderly man fully clothed, with a nimbus around his head, and holding the cross on which the Son is represented as crucified, the holy spirit descending in the form of a dove near the Son’s head. Figures of the virgin Mary and of St. John are often placed near the principal figures. Savior, in thine image seen bleeding on that precious rood. (Wordsworth)
2. A measure of five and a half yards in length; a red; a perch; a pole.
3. The fourth part of an acre, or forty square rods. By the rood, by the cross; a phrase formerly used in swearing. No, by the road, not so. . Rood beam, a tower at the intersection of the nave and transept of a church; when crowned with a spire it was called also rood steeple. Rood tree, the cross. Died upon the rood tree. .
Origin: AS. Rd a cross; akin to OS. Rda, D. Roede rod, G. Ruthe, rute, OHG. Ruota. CF. Rod a measure.