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 in pure form in meteorites and combined in most igneous rocks, is the most abundant element on Earth by mass, 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 iron (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for iron

Synonyms: Noun

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 Their hold on power involves convincing most citizens that prosperity, security and national strength require iron-fisted, one-party rule. Star Tribune, "China is awaiting the downward spiral of the U.S.," 4 Apr. 2021 Thomas Paine, who inspired the revolution that made Washington possible, also helped revolutionize the building of bridges out of iron. Washington Post, "Washington is a city of great bridges and terrible bridges. These are their stories.," 1 Apr. 2021 Spinach is a great source of iron, which is a key component in the red blood cells that carry oxygen to our muscles. CNN, "This palm tree nearly went extinct. Now its super-berries are helping to save it," 30 Mar. 2021 The reason they are called irons is because the heads were originally made of iron. Lyndi Mcnulty, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "An Eye for Art: The art of the hickory golf club," 12 Mar. 2021 This gloss on Russia’s iron-fisted rule emerged in the early 2000s under a former domestic political adviser to Mr. Putin, Vladislav Y. Surkov, though Mr. Surkov has since been elbowed aside. New York Times, "Looking for Something New in Russia’s ‘New People’ Party," 23 Feb. 2021 Smith adds that salmon is a good source of iron, which is crucial for many bodily processes. Maggie O'neill, Health.com, "13 Salmon Benefits, According to Nutritionists," 22 Feb. 2021 When prepared right, the texture resembles that of a tender brisket, with a flavor closer to an iron-rich heart or liver. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "How to cook beef tongue (lengua) at home, with 3 recipes in a slow cooker for street tacos, braised like a pot roast and smoked like brisket," 8 Feb. 2021 Thick slices of Argentinian rump steak ($32) growl a deep, seductive red, with a mouthful of iron tempered by an elegant au poivre sauce like a brasserie reimagining of your mom’s best Sunday gravy. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "4 San Antonio restaurants for great steak frites, that classic French dish of steak and french fries: Bistr09, Brasserie Mon Chou Chou, Julia’s Bistro & Bar and La Frite Belgian Bistro," 31 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Efforts to slow copper-mining's advance into Minnesota are intensifying, with state lawmakers backing a prohibitive measure that would require mining companies to show proof that a similar non-iron, hard rock mine has operated safely elsewhere. Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune, "Minnesota lawmakers propose ban and moratorium on copper mining," 13 Jan. 2021 For men who need to look sharp on a budget, these Nordstrom athletic-fit non-iron chinos are just the ticket. Nicole Briese, USA TODAY, "The 15 best things to buy on sale at Nordstrom right now," 13 Dec. 2020 Check out this Nordstrom trim-fit non-iron dress shirt, which drops from $39.50 to $19.75 in the Red Ruby hue. Arielle Tschinkel, USA TODAY, "Nordstrom is having a huge sale on some of its top-rated brands ahead of the Anniversary Sale," 29 July 2020 Check out this Nordstrom traditional fit non-iron dress shirt, which drops a full 70% in select colors and sizing from $49.50 to $14.85. Nicole Briese, USA TODAY, "Nordstrom is having a huge sale-on-sale and the deals are incredible," 10 July 2020 In ancient seas, iron aplenty To learn how iron fertilization might work in the future, some researchers are looking at the past, in paleoclimate records such as ice cores and deep-sea sediments. Emily Underwood, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Complicated Role of Iron in Ocean Health and Climate Change," 6 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If the suede has been wrinkled in the process, don't iron! Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Clean Suede," 23 Feb. 2021 Pedroia identified some glitches in Dalbec’s swing, and the two worked to iron them out in the batting cage. Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, "Recalling Dustin Pedroia’s final game, and humble exit, on a Double A diamond in Portland," 2 Feb. 2021 But then her husband is easily maddened: While disposing of the household meat, his wife has forgotten to iron his white shirt. Bindu Bansinath, Bon Appétit, "After a Life-Changing Injury, I Had to Eat to Heal," 8 Dec. 2020 Many graves contained pottery; others featured a smattering of weapons, from a sword to iron spearheads and at least one shield. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Anglo-Saxon Cemetery Is Filled With Corpses’ Ghostly Silhouettes," 18 Sep. 2020 My uniform—a blazer and slacks of ocean-blue polyester, with a patch depicting a sun rising over the pages of an open book sewn halfway up the right sleeve—was freshly ironed. Alex Halberstadt, The New Yorker, "October’s Child: The Year I Left the Soviet Union," 5 Apr. 2020 Talley was raised by a great-grandmother and grandmother who boiled the laundry and ironed the sheets. Rumaan Alam, The New Republic, "André Leon Talley Corrects the Record," 19 May 2020 The president normally has two office valets and three in the residence to act as personal assistants, doing everything from serving meals to ironing his clothes. Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times, "Second White House aide tests positive for coronavirus," 8 May 2020 All fabrics received are left outside for 48 hours before being washed, dried, and ironed for safety. Jenna Schoenefeld, Popular Mechanics, "How Citizens Are Helping Healthcare Workers Fight the Coronavirus," 6 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for iron

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for iron

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Iron.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/iron. Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on iron

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