iron


iron
iron [ī′ərn]
n.
[ME iren < OE (chiefly poetic & prob. dissimilated), var. of isern, isen akin to Goth eisarn) < Gmc * īsarna, akin to early Celt * isarno, prob. via Illyrian * eisarno- < IE base * eis-, to move vigorously; strong, holy (> IRE): orig. sense prob. “the strong metal,” in contrast to the softer bronze]
1. a white, malleable, ductile, metallic chemical element that can be readily magnetized, rusts rapidly in moist or salty air, and is vital to plant and animal life: it is the most common and important of all metals, and its alloys, as steel, are extensively used: symbol, Fe; at. no., 26: see the periodic table of elements in the Reference Supplement
2. any tool, implement, device, apparatus, etc. made of iron, as
a) a device with a handle and flat, smooth undersurface, used, when heated, for pressing clothes or cloth; flatiron
b) a rodlike device with a brand at one end, heated for branding cattle: in full branding iron
3. [pl.] iron shackles or chains
4. firm strength; power
5. Slang a pistol
6. Golf any of a set of numbered clubs with metal heads having various lofts; specif., the number 2 iron with little loft, used chiefly for relatively long fairway shots; the number 5 iron with medium loft; and the number 9 iron with much loft, used chiefly for short, lofted shots to the green: see GOLF CLUB
7. Med. a tonic or other preparation containing iron
adj.
1. of or consisting of iron
2. like iron, as
a) firm; unyielding [an iron will]
b) capable of great endurance; strong [an iron constitution]
3. cruel; merciless
vt.
1. to furnish or cover with iron
2. to put (a prisoner) in irons
3. to press (clothes or cloth) smooth or flat with a hot iron
vi.
to iron clothes or cloth
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have many irons in the fire or have several irons in the fire
to have or be engaged in many (or several, etc.) activities, enterprises, or the like
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in irons
1. shackled with irons; imprisoned
2. Naut. headed into the wind with no way on: said of a sailing vessel that has failed to come about
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☆ iron out
to smooth out; eliminate
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strike while the iron is hot
to act at the opportune time

English World dictionary. . 2014.