Dune Glossary

Explore the terms Frank Herbert uses throughout his series of novels ‘Dune’, including sandworms, mentat, freman, and more.

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  • a

  • Axlotl TanksAxlotl Tanks are an invention of the Tleilaxu, who are masters at genetic engineering. The Tanks are living beings capable of producing a living human from the cells of cadavers.
  • b

  • BalisetThe baliset is a nine-stringed musical instrument played in ‘Dune', which is played by strumming strings.
  • BaronThe Baron is a title that got used by the leader of the House of Harkonnen in Dune.
  • Bene GesseritThe Bene Gesserit is a matriarchal order whose members train their physical and mental abilities to get supernatural powers, which they use in political and lineage control.
  • c

  • CHOAMCHOAM stands for Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles. It is an organization responsible for Melange distribution across the universe.
  • CrysknifeA Crysknife is a knife whose blade comes from the tooth of a dead Sandworm.
  • CymekA Cymek was once a human who became a Thinking Machine by losing their human body for mechanical bodies.
  • f

  • Face DancerFace dancers appear in the 'Dune' series by Frank Herbert. A Face Dancer is a Tleilaxu member who can shapeshift into another person.
  • FaufreluchesFaufreluches is a term used to describe the class system adopted by the Imperium of the old empire.
  • FedaykinThe Fedaykin are a group of guerillas Fremen fighters who became the personal guards of Paul Atreides.
  • Fish SpeakersThe Fish speakers are a military force comprised only of women that serve the God-emperor, Leto II Atreides.
  • FremenThe Fremen are a group of humans living on the desert planet Arrakis, home to the Sandworms who produce Melange.
  • Fremen JihadThe Fremen Jihad is a battle fought by the Fremen after the defeat of Emperor Shaddam IV. The Jihad saw the widespread of the Fremen’s religion throughout the entire universe.
  • FutarsFutars are the genetic hybrids of human and feline species. The Futars were created with the sole purpose of hunting and destroying the Honored Matres.
  • g

  • GalachGalach was the official language of the Imperium in ‘Dune.’ Derived from the ancient languages of Earth, the language got spoken and written in many dialects.
  • GholaA Ghola is an artificially created being that gets replicated from the dead cells of its human body.
  • Guild NavigatorA Guild Navigator is a senior-ranked member of the spacing guild responsible for navigating interstellar space in starships known as Heighliners.
  • h

  • Honored MatresThe Honored Matres are an aggressive matriarchal order that arose after the death of the God-emperor, Leto II, and are obsessed with power and dominance.
  • i

  • ImperiumThe Imperium is a term that refers to the old galactic padishah empire. It was the governing body that maintained law and order throughout the universe after the events of the Butlerian Jihad.
  • k

  • KanlyThe act of Kanly is the execution of a feud or fight under the rules of the Great Convention.
  • KralizecKralizec is the ultimate battle at the end of the universe that was foreseen by the Kwisatz Haderach, Paul and Leto II Atreides.
  • Kwisatz HaderachThe Kwisatz Haderach is a male Bene Gesserit capable of unlocking the genetic memory of both his female and male ancestry.
  • l

  • LandsraadThe Landsraad is an organization in Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ responsible for being the umbrella body representative of all the Noble Houses of the Imperium.
  • LasgunThe Lasgun was a weapon that got used in the Imperium. It was a weapon that shot continuous-wave lasers at a target.
  • m

  • MahdiMahdi was the name used by the Fremen to describe their savior according to the messianic legend introduced by the Bene Gesserit.
  • Melange (Spice)Melange is a narcotic with psychedelic properties that enhance mental capabilities and youth.
  • MentatA Mentat is a human with advanced mental power capable of intense logical thinking and analysis.
  • Missionaria ProtectivaMissionaria Protectiva was an arm of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood responsible for disseminating superstition across primitive planets for the future benefit of the Bene Gesserit.
  • n

  • No-shipA no-ship is a starship that uses technology to hide from detection by prescience.
  • o

  • OrnithopterAn Ornithopter is an aircraft in the 'Dune' series that flies by the action of wing flapping.
  • p

  • Padishah EmperorThe Padishah Emperor was the title given to the ruler of the known universe. The title got used first by the head of the House of Corrin after the Battle of Corrin.
  • r

  • Religions of DuneThroughout ‘Dune,' there have been many religions that got practiced in the universe. However, with the rise of Paul Atreides’s jihad, most of the beliefs got destroyed by the Fremen.
  • s

  • SandwormSandworms are massive annelids that live on planet Arrakis. Sandworms are the source of Melange.
  • SardaukarThe Sardaukar are the military force of the Padishah Emperor and the Great House of Corrino.
  • SayyadinaA Sayyadina is a Fremen lower-ranking priestess who had not yet become a reverend mother.
  • SligA Slig is a hybrid animal that got created by the Tleilaxu. Being the genetic mix of a giant slug and a pig, Sligs became popular throughout the universe.
  • Spice AgonySpice Agony is a process that Bene Gesserit sisters and Sayyadinas underwent to become reverend mothers.
  • StillsuitA stillsuit is a bodysuit that helped the Fremen conserve water in the desert. The suit is one of the inventions made by the Fremen to survive Arrakis.
  • Stone BurnerThe stone burner is a weapon that uses atomic fuel to create intense explosions and radiation harmful to all living things.
  • Suk Medical SchoolThe Suk Medical school was an institution where people studied medicine and specialized in treating ailments.
  • t

  • T-ProbeThe T-probe is a device brought from the Great Scattering by the Honored Matres. The T-probe got invented to read the genetic memory of a person.
  • The Butlerian JihadThe Butlerian Jihad is a war fought between humans and the Thinking Machines.
  • The Ixians of IxThe Ixians of Ix were a society that created technological products that nearly broke the laws of the Butlerian Jihad.
  • Thinking MachinesThe term Thinking Machines in 'Dune' refers to both a general concept and beings. Thinking Machines were robots created with sentience.
  • TitansThe Titans are a group of people who took over the Old Empire and ruled the universe for one hundred years.
  • TleilaxuThe Bene Tleilax, popularly known as the Tleilaxu, is a patriarchal order in Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ known for their mastery of genetic manipulation and biological weaponry.
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