Meaning of IRON in English


I. ˈī(ə)rn, ˈīən sometimes chiefly for the sake of the meter in a line of poetry ˈīrən noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English iren, iron, from Old English īren, īsen, īsern; akin to Old High German īsan, īsarn iron, Old Norse īsarn, jārn, Gothic eisarn; all from a prehistoric Germanic word probably of Venetic or Illyrian origin like Old Irish īarn iron, Welsh haearn; akin to Venetic Isaras, a river; akin to Latin ira anger — more at ire


a. : a heavy malleable ductile magnetic chiefly bivalent and trivalent metallic element that is silver-white when pure but readily rusts in moist air and is chemically active in other respects (as toward dilute acids), that occurs native in meteorites and combined in most igneous rocks, that is usually extracted from its ores by smelting with coke and limestone in a blast furnace, that is the most used of metals (as in construction, armaments, tools), and that plays a vital role in biological processes (as in transport of oxygen in the animal body) — symbol Fe ; see cast iron , ingot iron , iron ore , pig iron , steel , wrought iron ; element table; compare ferrite

b. : iron in some particular physical or chemical state: as

(1) : iron chemically combined

iron in the blood

a tonic of iron and wine

(2) : iron that cannot be hardened by quenching (as wrought iron, pig iron) — distinguished from steel

the iron and steel industry

2. : something (as an instrument, appliance, or tool) made of or commonly, customarily, or originally made of iron: as


(1) : an iron weapon ; especially : sword

(2) : armed might : weaponry

(3) slang : a portable firearm : pistol


(1) : something (as chains, handcuffs, shackles) used to bind, confine, or restrain — usually used in plural

kept the prisoner in irons

(2) archaic : bonds , captivity

c. : a branding or cauterizing iron

d. irons plural , archaic : dies used in striking coins

e. : harpoon

f. : a heatable device usually with a flat metal base of some weight that is used to smooth, finish, or press (as cloth) : flatiron

g. : stirrup

h. : soldering iron

i. : an iron weight with a handle sometimes used in curling instead of the customary stone

j. : the cutter in a tool (as a plane)

k. : one of a series of golf clubs numbered 1 through 9 that have heads of iron or occasionally other metal laid back at a progressively greater angle so as to give progressively greater height and less distance to the flight of the ball

3. : resemblance to iron in some quality (as strength, inflexibility, hardness, durability)

the iron of that spirit

also : a quality of exhibiting such resemblance

muscles of iron

4. : a unit of measurement equal to one forty-eighth of an inch used in measuring thickness of a shoe sole

a six- iron sole

5. : mineral brown

6. : the iron industry or its production especially as a market factor

iron has remained steady

- in irons

- iron in the fire

II. adjective

Etymology: Middle English iren, from Old English īren, īsen, īsern (akin to Old High German īsarnīn, adjective, iron, Gothic eisarneins ), from īren, īsen, īsern, n.

1. : of, relating to, or derived from iron : made of or containing iron

an iron bar

broadly : made of or consisting of steel or other modified iron

2. : resembling iron in appearance or color

a grim iron sky

3. : resembling iron in some quality (as hardness, strength, impenetrability, endurance, insensibility): as

a. : having great physical hardness or strength

b. : rude , hard , severe

c. : strong and healthy : robust

an iron constitution

iron digestions

d. : inflexible , unrelenting

iron determination

e. : holding or binding fast : not to be broken

the iron ties of kinship

f. : metallic in tone : harsh

an iron voice

4. of a golf shot : played with an iron

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English irenen, from iren, n.

transitive verb

1. : to furnish, arm, or cover with iron

ironed the new wheel


a. : to shackle with irons : fetter , handcuff

b. : to attach or make fast with fittings of iron

iron the toolbox to the truck


a. : to smooth with or as if with an instrument of iron ; especially : to press (as cloth) with a heated flatiron

b. : to remove by ironing — usually used with an adverb of direction

gently ironing away the wrinkles

4. : to take (as a fish) with a gaff or harpoon

5. : to thin the walls of(a deep-drawn metal article) by reducing the clearance between punch and die

intransitive verb

: to iron clothes

ironed all morning

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.