big iron

noun

variants or Big Iron
computing
: large mainframe computers
… it will wither as most customers find the courage to shift to so-called client-server systems, which are networks of smaller computers. When that happens, other IBM businesses that depend on big iron will also decline.Stratford Sherman, Fortune, 3 Oct. 1994
Next month, several large companies will lead the charge back to big iron in an attempt to rescue unwieldy or stalled client-server projects.Martin J. Garvey, Information Week, 7 July 1997
A few years ago the big iron would almost certainly have been provided by the likes of IBM, Hewlett-Packard or Digital Equipment Corp.Eric Nee, Forbes, 12 Jan. 1998

Word History

First Known Use

1981, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of big iron was in 1981

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Cite this Entry

“Big iron.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/big%20iron. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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