iron

noun
\ ˈī(-ə)rn How to pronounce iron (audio) \

Definition of iron

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : 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 Chemical Elements Table
2 : something made of iron: such as
a : a household device usually with a flat metal base that is heated to smooth, finish, or press (such as cloth)
b : any of a series of numbered golf clubs having relatively thin metal heads — compare wood
c irons plural : shackles for the hands or legs
d : a heated metal implement used for branding or cauterizing
e : stirrup usually used in plural
3 : great strength, hardness, or determination
iron in the fire
1 : a matter requiring close attention
2 : a prospective course of action

Definition of iron (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or made of iron
2 : resembling iron
3a : strong and healthy : robust an iron constitution
b : inflexible, unrelenting iron determination
c : holding or binding fast an iron grip

iron

verb
ironed; ironing; irons

Definition of iron (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to smooth with or as if with a heated iron iron a shirt
b : to remove (something, such as wrinkles) by ironing
2 : to shackle with irons
3 : to furnish or cover with iron

intransitive verb

: to smooth or press cloth or clothing with a heated iron

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Other Words from iron

Adjective

ironness \ ˈī(-​ə)rn-​nəs How to pronounce ironness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for iron

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of iron in a Sentence

Adjective he had an iron determination to succeed in on Wall Street
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun We are taught to speak up and tell the truth in every circumstance, with the understanding that our word and integrity are iron-clad. Socrates Rosenfeld, Quartz, "Military veterans are the future of weed entrepreneurship," 9 Nov. 2019 Pumping iron was the decision-making factor, absolutely. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Chris Pratt Won Over Father-in-Law Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Gym: 'He's a Strong Guy'," 29 Oct. 2019 Over the years, the field’s turns and tumbles have been captured by iron-rich minerals attuned to magnetic influences, which can become trapped in place as sedimentary rocks form or lava cools, like tiny compass needles frozen in time. National Geographic, "Earth's magnetic field flips much more frequently than we thought," 2 Oct. 2019 More specifically, the Undaria Algae Oil—Michele’s body oil of choice—is made with Undaria Pinnatifida extract, a brown marine algae that boasts iodine, iron, potassium, calcium, B vitamins, and fucoidan (a hydrating compound). Christie Calucchia, Health.com, "This Is the Anti-Aging Body Oil Lea Michele Uses to Hydrate and Firm Her Skin," 26 Sep. 2019 Beachwaver Beachwaver recently launched a flat iron that does exactly the opposite of its famous curling iron. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "The10 Best Flat Irons for Every Hair Type," 15 Sep. 2019 One piece of evidence was lava flows, which act as a time capsule because their iron-rich minerals align with the direction of the planet’s magnetic field when the lava hardens. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "Earth’s Magnetic Field Reversal Took Three Times Longer Than Thought," 7 Aug. 2019 Those colors represent the three materials used to make steel: yellow for coal, red for iron ore and blue for steel scrap. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, "Ask Sam Farmer: Why is the Steelers’ logo only on one side of the team’s helmets?," 15 Sep. 2019 Well, besides pumping iron while pregnant with her son, Tobias, that is. Samantha Incorvaia, azcentral, "You will find inspiration — and cliches — in documentary 'Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable'," 10 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Here's his challenge Howard and Michigan can begin to iron things out in Friday's exhibition. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball: Here's what Juwan Howard wants to see in exhibition," 31 Oct. 2019 Saar enlarged the slave ship image, printed it onto the surface of the ironing board, and at one end superimposed the image of a black woman ironing, dressed stereotypically as a mammy. Washington Post, "This 93-year-old artist has been taking on racism and sexism for decades — and is finally getting her due," 25 Sep. 2019 Then a top layer is scraped off by hand before another wax layer is ironed on. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "Why Mikaela Shiffrin Brought 35 Pairs of Skis to the Olympics," 21 Feb. 2018 In keeping with the prettily polished theme, the model wore her golden blonde strands ironed pin-straight, spilling over her shoulders with a sharp middle part. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's Peach Makeup Is a Summertime Palate Cleanser," 16 Aug. 2019 One focus since joining the system is ironing a swing that had been geared to load up to damage baseballs. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Minors: How Storm’s Gabriel Arias is tapping into his power," 16 Aug. 2019 In homes people wake up in the middle of the night to cook or iron their shirts. The Economist, "Zimbabwe’s economy is crashing and its people are hungry," 15 Aug. 2019 With any luck the LOUD Weekend will continue in future years, and the growing pains will iron themselves out. Zoë Madonna, BostonGlobe.com, "Bang on a Can turns up the volume with LOUD Weekend at Mass MoCA," 3 Aug. 2019 Think about using the vintage ironing closet for some of your supplies. Bang Staff And Correspondents, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Attractive vintage home on huge lot," 30 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'iron.' 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 iron

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for iron

Noun

Middle English, from Old English īsern, īren; akin to Old High German īsarn iron

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Statistics for iron

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for iron

The first known use of iron was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for iron

iron

noun
How to pronounce iron (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of iron

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of iron (Entry 2 of 3)

: made of iron
: very strong

iron

verb

English Language Learners Definition of iron (Entry 3 of 3)

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

iron

noun
\ ˈī-ərn How to pronounce iron (audio) \

Kids Definition of iron

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a heavy silvery white metallic chemical element that rusts easily, is strongly attracted by magnets, occurs in meteorites and combined in minerals, and is necessary for transporting oxygen in the blood
2 : a device that is heated and used for making cloth smooth
3 : a device that is heated to perform a task a soldering iron
4 irons plural : handcuffs or chains used to bind or to hinder movement

Kids Definition of iron (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : made of iron
2 : strong and healthy He has an iron constitution.
3 : not giving in an iron will

iron

verb
ironed; ironing

Kids Definition of iron (Entry 3 of 3)

: to press with a heated iron

iron

noun
\ ˈī(-ə)rn How to pronounce iron (audio) \

Medical Definition of iron

1 : 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 Chemical Elements Table
2 : iron chemically combined iron in the blood

Other Words from iron

iron adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on iron

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for iron

Spanish Central: Translation of iron

Nglish: Translation of iron for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of iron for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about iron

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