iris

noun (1)
\ ˈī-rəs How to pronounce iris (audio) \
plural irises also irides\ ˈī-​rə-​ˌdēz How to pronounce irides (audio) , ˈir-​ə-​ \

Definition of iris

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : rainbow
2a : the opaque contractile diaphragm perforated by the pupil and forming the colored portion of the eye — see eye illustration
b : iris diaphragm also : a similar device with a circular opening that can be varied in size
3 also plural iris : any of a large genus (Iris of the family Iridaceae, the iris family) of perennial herbaceous plants with linear usually basal leaves and large showy flowers

iris

verb
irised; irising; irises

Definition of iris (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make iridescent

Iris

noun (2)
\ ˈī-rəs How to pronounce Iris (audio) \

Definition of Iris (Entry 3 of 3)

: the Greek goddess of the rainbow and a messenger of the gods

Illustration of iris

Illustration of iris

Noun (1)

iris 3

In the meaning defined above

Examples of iris in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The aristocratic spritz dries down to a bouquet of tuberose, violet, iris, and Bulgarian rose. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "6 Royal-Worn Perfumes That Are Fit for Non-Princesses Too," 30 Mar. 2019 On my first night there, the Commander set up a little mise-en-scène: a vase of irises and chilled white wine on a metal table, along with a gushy card. Abby Ellin, Marie Claire, "I Almost Married a Con Man," 8 Jan. 2019 Though the bright yellow blooms scream summertime, these spirit-lifting flowers are available all year round. In some parts of the world, dark blue or purple irises indicate royalty, according to Law. Carly Orleach, Woman's Day, "How to Make Fresh Flowers Last Longer," 15 Feb. 2019 With the move to an in-screen reader, Samsung is dumping the iris scanning technology the company debuted in the Galaxy Note 7 in 2016. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Samsung Galaxy S10 renders feature a big hole in the display," 5 Dec. 2018 The ImuGeneration Technology also contains reishi mushroom and iris root to help skin protect itself and to increase the performance of Langerhans cells no matter the environment. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "This Skin-Care Product Works on a Cellular Level," 24 May 2018 Now hospitals are using iris and palm-vein scanning to overcome a growing patient-identification problem. Brian Gormley, WSJ, "Hospitals Turn to Biometrics to Identify Patients," 6 Feb. 2019 On the front, the Tab S4 also houses the sensors for its iris and face scanner unlocking feature. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 review: valiant effort," 8 Aug. 2018 Bare root plants will be for sale, with experts on hand to discuss iris plant questions. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A listing of home and garden events for the Milwaukee area (Summer 2018 edition)," 4 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'iris.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of iris

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1816, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for iris

Noun (1)

Middle English, "iris of the eye, the plant Iris germanica," borrowed from Latin īrid-, īris "rainbow, the plant Iris pallida or related species," borrowed from Greek īrid-, îris "rainbow, iridescent halo around the moon, a flame, etc., iris of the eye, the plant Iris pallida or related species," going back to *wīrid-, *wīris, of uncertain origin

Note: Traditionally, Greek îris "rainbow" (for which an original digamma [letter representing the sound w] is assured by an inscription from Corinth and the metrics of epic poetry) has been regarded as a derivative of Indo-European *u̯ei̯H- "plait, wrap," parallel to Germanic *wīr- (see wire entry 1). However, the variant éris recorded by the Greek lexicographer Hesychius, as well as the dubious character of *wīrid- as an Indo-European formation (< *u̯ih1-r-i-?) has drawn this etymology into question. Perhaps a substratal word.

Noun (2)

Latin, from Greek

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Dictionary Entries near iris

irids

Irigoyen

Iris

iris

irisated

irisation

iris borer

Statistics for iris

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for iris

The first known use of iris was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for iris

iris

noun

English Language Learners Definition of iris

: the colored part of your eye
: a plant with long pointed leaves and large blue or yellow flowers

iris

noun
\ ˈī-rəs How to pronounce iris (audio) \

Kids Definition of iris

1 : the colored part around the pupil of an eye
2 : a plant with long pointed leaves and large usually brightly colored flowers

iris

noun
\ ˈī-rəs How to pronounce iris (audio) \
plural irises or irides\ ˈī-​rə-​ˌdēz How to pronounce irides (audio) , ˈir-​ə-​ How to pronounce irides (audio) \

Medical Definition of iris

1 : the opaque muscular contractile diaphragm that is suspended in the aqueous humor in front of the lens of the eye, is perforated by the pupil and is continuous peripherally with the ciliary body, has a deeply pigmented posterior surface which excludes the entrance of light except through the pupil and a colored anterior surface which determines the color of the eyes

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More from Merriam-Webster on iris

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with iris

Spanish Central: Translation of iris

Nglish: Translation of iris for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of iris for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about iris

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