read the runes

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read the runes

To analyze current trends to predict what will happen in the future, likened to fortune telling. In this phrase, runes are esoteric, letter-like symbols associated with magic. Primarily heard in UK. All the social media companies are trying to read the runes to see what the next big thing will be, but most trends are impossible to predict.
See also: read
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

read the runes

BRITISH, LITERARY
If you read the runes, you decide what is likely to happen in the future by considering what is happening now. Back in 1989, he was the first of the east European leaders to read the runes and make the jump from communism to nationalism. Note: Runes were an alphabet used in northern Europe until medieval times. The letters were often thought to have magical properties.
See also: read
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

read the runes

try to forecast the outcome of a situation by analysing all the significant factors involved. British
The runes were an ancient Germanic alphabet once used in northern Europe, each character of which was supposed to have a secret magical significance. Small stones and pieces of bone engraved with these characters were used to try to foretell the future.
See also: read
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
To keep rainwater from splashing onto the floor, Rune installed gutters along the beams.
In Uppland they are found both in areas that are rich in rune stones and in those that have very few.
This strategy aggressively gets in the viewer's face, much as the guards and other prisoners get in Rune's and Rashid's.
"Come meet Rune," Alice called and stepped into the hallway.
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The private Bellona Foundation was formed in 1986, a few months after the nuclear accident at Chornobyl, by environmentalists Frederic Hauge and Rune Haaland, who saw the need for a new, more involved environmental action organization in Norway.
Ani DiFranco's Living in Clip is easily the best of her rune solo albums.
Rune Halvorsen and Bjorn Hvinden are faculty members of Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences in Norway.
Maddy (Modi) who grew up as a social outcast in her village with a strange rune mark has discovered her true birth right as the granddaughter of Odin and the daughter of Thor.
Officiating at the service were the Reverend Canon Janet Chapman of Birmingham Cathedral and the Reverend Anders Rune, vicar of the Swedish Church in London.
Trainer Rune Haugen said: "I know that the racing is a lot tougher than in Norway but Giant Sandman is a serious horse and I think that the seven furlongs at Newmarket will be perfect for him.
A SPIN-OFF from the much-loved Harvest Moon franchise, Rune Factory's unusual blend of farming, life simulation and dungeon crawling makes for a wonderful and original single-player adventure.