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

iron

adjective

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

firm, forceful, hearty, lusty, robust, solid, stout, strong, sturdy, vigorous

Antonyms: Adjective

uncertain, weak

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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

Barriers that mostly predate Trump’s presidency, ranging from 18-foot-tall iron fencing to makeshift vehicle barriers and barbed wire, span 654 miles of the almost-2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, mostly in California, Arizona and New Mexico. Washington Post, "Trump Said Mexico Would Pay for the Border Wall. Now What?," 18 Sep. 2019 One cup provides 100 calories, 9 grams of healthful fat, 4 grams of plant protein, and just 4 grams of carb with 2 from fiber, along with 6% of your daily calcium needs and 4% for iron. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Health.com, "5 Trader Joe's New Products to Try This Fall," 17 Sep. 2019 As the iron radiators in the ESL classroom crank away each morning, Juan longs to close his eyes, if only for a moment. BostonGlobe.com, "ada Pierre is tiny, her ambition drawn taut as a bowstring. The 16-year-old daughter of Haitian immigrants wears her hair in a small bun atop her head, her emerging political consciousness finding its voice in the bevy of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo stickers she’s pasted to her MacBook.," 15 Sep. 2019 Magnet will best separate a mixture of iron filings and black pepper. 2. Wired, "AI Can Pass Standardized Tests—But It Would Fail Preschool," 10 Sep. 2019 Another possible replacement for lithium batteries is iron. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "What About Calcium Batteries?," 9 Sep. 2019 All of this is a bump on the road to a bigger prize: breaking Microsoft’s iron grip on work communication. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Slack’s first public earnings are a speed bump on its way to owning enterprise," 5 Sep. 2019 Isolated from light and oxygen, the water became more and more concentrated, both in terms of salt and iron content. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "Creepy Catacombs, Islands of Dolls, and 18 Other Terrifying Places for Thrill Seekers," 4 Sep. 2019 Nearby, a whole lamb was set on an iron cross, with flames below. CBS News, "The Dish: Open fire cooking icon Francis Mallmann," 31 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The San Francisco 49ers and place kicker Robbie Gould agreed to a new deal early Monday morning, and with an hour before the 4 p.m. ET deadline, the Atlanta Falcons had ironed theirs out with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Franchise-tag roundup: Robbie Gould, Grady Jarrett get new deals; Texans' Jadeveon Clowney doesn't," 15 July 2019 Their white shirts were ironed, their shoes were vigorously shined and their faces had been scrubbed clean. Maria Petrakis, latimes.com, "Wanted: People willing to live on a beautiful, remote Greek island," 6 June 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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Learn More about iron

Dictionary Entries near iron

IRO

iroha

iroko

iron

Iron Age

iron alum

ironback

Statistics for iron

Last Updated

18 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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

iron

adjective

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

iron

adjective

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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