noun \ˈī(-ə)rn\

: a heavy type of metal that is very common, occurs naturally in blood, and is used to make steel and in many products

: a device with a flat metal base that is heated and is used to press wrinkles out of clothing

: a golf club that has a metal head and is identified by a number

Full Definition of IRON

:  a silver-white malleable ductile magnetic heavy metallic element that readily rusts in moist air, occurs native in meteorites and combined in most igneous rocks, is the most used of metals, and is vital to biological processes — see element table
:  something made of iron: as
a plural :  shackles for the hands or legs
b :  a heated metal implement used for branding or cauterizing
c :  a household device usually with a flat metal base that is heated to smooth, finish, or press (as cloth)
d :  stirrup —usually used in plural
e :  any of a series of numbered golf clubs having relatively thin metal heads — compare wood
:  great strength, hardness, or determination
iron in the fire
:  a matter requiring close attention
:  a prospective course of action

Origin of IRON

Middle English, from Old English īsern, īren; akin to Old High German īsarn iron
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Metals and Metallurgy Terms

assay, bloom, bullion, ductile, ingot, malleable, patina, plate, temper, tensile



: made of iron

: very strong

Full Definition of IRON

:  of, relating to, or made of iron
:  resembling iron
a :  strong and healthy :  robust <an iron constitution>
b :  inflexible, unrelenting <iron determination>
c :  holding or binding fast <an iron grip>
iron·ness \ˈī(-ə)rn-nəs\ noun

Examples of IRON

  1. <he had an iron determination to succeed in on Wall Street>

First Known Use of IRON

before 12th century



: to use a heated iron to make clothing or fabric smooth

Full Definition of IRON

transitive verb
:  to furnish or cover with iron
:  to shackle with irons
a :  to smooth with or as if with a heated iron <iron a shirt>
b :  to remove (as wrinkles) by ironing
intransitive verb
:  to smooth or press cloth or clothing with a heated iron

First Known Use of IRON

15th century


noun \ˈī(-ə)rn\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of IRON

: a heavy malleable ductile magnetic silver-white metallic element that readily rusts in moist air, occurs native in meteorites and combined in most igneous rocks, is the most used of metals, and is vital to biological processes (as in transport of oxygen in the body)—symbol Fe; see element table
: iron chemically combined <iron in the blood>
iron adjective


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Metallic chemical element, one of the transition elements, chemical symbol Fe, atomic number 26. Iron is the most used and cheapest metal, the second most abundant metal and fourth most abundant element in Earth's crust. It occurs rarely as a free metal, occasionally in natural alloys (especially in meteorites), and in hundreds of minerals and ores, including hematite, magnetite, limonite, and siderite. The human body contains about one-sixth of an ounce (4.5 g) of iron, mostly in hemoglobin and its precursors; iron in the diet is essential to health. Iron is ferromagnetic (see ferromagnetism) at ordinary temperatures and is the only metal that can be tempered (see tempering). Its uses in steels of various types, as well as in cast and wrought iron (collectively, “ferrous metals”), are numerous. Alteration of its properties by impurities, especially carbon, is the basis of steelmaking. Iron in compounds usually has valence 2 (ferrous) or 3 (ferric). Ferrous and ferric oxides (FeO and FeO, respectively) are used as pigments and the latter as jewelers' rouge. Rust is ferric oxide containing water; ferric oxide is widely used as a magnetic recording material in computer data-storage devices and magnetic tapes. Ferrous and ferric sulfates and chlorides are all of industrial importance as mordants, reducing agents, flocculating agents, or raw materials and in inks and fertilizers.


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