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

Roy Jeffs told the Associated Press in 2015 that his father controlled the group based along the Utah-Arizona state line with an iron fist, separating families and banning things such as movies and bicycles. Lindsay Whitehurst, azcentral, "Son who spoke out against FLDS leader Warren Jeffs dies at 26," 4 June 2019 Al-Bashir governed with an iron fist while also zigzagging strategically to divide his opponents. Sarah El Deeb, The Seattle Times, "Sudan leader’s iron grip finally slips amid protests," 12 Apr. 2019 The price of iron ore surged to a five-year high, buoyed by mine closures in Brazil and unexpectedly strong demand for steel in China. Rhiannon Hoyle, WSJ, "China Steel Boom, Supply Problems Drive Iron-Ore Price to Five-Year High," 17 May 2019 The mine’s owner, Vale SA, is the world’s largest producer of iron ore, the raw ingredient for making steel. Peter Prengaman, The Seattle Times, "Searchers probe deep mud from Brazil dam breach; 65 dead," 29 Jan. 2019 Prices of cement, iron and other building materials, all of them linked to energy imports denominated in dollars, have rocketed. The Economist, "Surrender your dollars, urges Turkey’s President Erdogan," 14 June 2018 How to Move Out Breaking the iron grip between you and iMessage is a multistep process. Joanna Stern, WSJ, "Ugh, Green Bubbles! Apple’s iMessage Makes Switching to Android Hard," 18 Oct. 2018 China keeps the value of its currency in an iron grip, but investors in places like Hong Kong can trade it more freely. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, "Trump’s Trade Threats Hit China’s Stock Market and Currency," 28 June 2018 Alessandra Cerreti set out to unsettle the Ndrangheta’s iron grip on much of southern Italy. Jackson Holahan, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Good Mothers' profiles the female prosecutor who took on Italy's mafia," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Certain fabrics don't need ironing (like flannel) but if your sheets are made from linen or cotton, take the time. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "How a Professional Set Stylist Makes the Perfect Bed," 21 Feb. 2019 Case in point: The Dyson Airwrap, a hair styling tool that delivers a whole range of looks — bouncier blowouts, longer-lasting curls, and frizz-smoothing flat-ironing — with technology borrowed from jet engines, of all things. Allure, "The 5 Most Innovative Beauty Product Launches of 2019, According to Allure Readers," 14 May 2019 The basement floor is terra cotta tile, and there is a separate laundry room with a mangle for ironing sheets, as well as storage for the quantity of linens needed for seven bedrooms. Joan Walden, courant.com, "288 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury," 21 June 2018 Stonewashed linen comes in many patterns, colors, and looks great without being ironed or steamed. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "These Trends Are Officially So 2018. Here's What's Replacing Them," 13 Nov. 2018 Because first of all, like ironing a shirt or replacing a broken windowpane, few chores are more satisfying. Ryan D'agostino, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Tools for Making Gutter Cleaning a Less Loathsome Chore," 8 Nov. 2018 Then, use transfer paper to iron the Starbucks logo onto your dress. Elizabeth Denton, Seventeen, "14 Genius Group Halloween Costume Ideas for You and Your Squad," 6 July 2018 After the wet strips were pulled from the water, they were rushed to a nearby laundromat to be dried, then hauled back up to be ironed and sewn. Hailey Branson-potts, latimes.com, "On the 40th anniversary of the LGBTQ pride symbol, artist wants her rainbow flag story told," 8 June 2018 As of Tuesday, the Diamondbacks had signed most of their top picks but still needed to iron things out with first-round selection Matt McLain, a high school infielder from California. Steve Reaven, chicagotribune.com, "Tyler Acosta, godson of Vladimir Guerrero, deciding between pro and college baseball," 19 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near iron

IRO

iroha

iroko

iron

Iron Age

iron alum

ironback

Statistics for iron

Last Updated

14 Jun 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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