\ 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



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


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

Other Words from iron


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for iron

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of iron in a Sentence

Adjective he had an iron determination to succeed in on Wall Street
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Children who had a vegetarian diet had similar body mass index (BMI), height, iron, vitamin D, and cholesterol levels compared to those who ate meat, researchers found. Julie Washington, cleveland, 10 May 2022 Plus, Sunday's fertilizer for grass is made from natural ingredients that nourish your lawn with soy protein, iron, seaweed, and more. Samantha Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 May 2022 This powerful garment steamer features a wide plate that doubles as an iron, dry or with steam giving you more bang for your buck. Sarah Bogdan, Good Housekeeping, 9 May 2022 Crafted of wood, iron, plant fiber and animal sinew, the model of 10 men paddling a canoe would strike most viewers as a beautiful object. New York Times, 5 May 2022 Iron-deficiency anemia can develop in people with celiac disease because the body is unable to adequately absorb iron (along with other nutrients), says Dr. Jossen. Eleesha Lockett, SELF, 3 May 2022 The device can cut over 100 materials, including cardstock, paper, vinyl, cork, fabric, glitter paper, vinyl, iron-on transfers, and much more, and users can connect tools for cutting, writing, foiling, and more to expand their DIY capabilities. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 May 2022 Breen had gone from learning how to talk the Bally to learning to weld iron, wire lights, and drive an eighteen-wheeler. David Hill, Harper’s Magazine , 27 Apr. 2022 Brewer's yeast is a great source of B-complex vitamins and is rich in protein, chromium, selenium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Marci Robin, Allure, 26 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective For my anti-iron lifestyle, the Nori is a clear winner. Rachel Besser, Vogue, 20 Aug. 2021 The broad bill is a moratorium of sorts and covers any kind of hard rock, or non-iron ore, mine anywhere in Minnesota. Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune, 13 Jan. 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 6 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Many of the items in her lines are made from wrinkle-resistant, machine washable, stretch materials that are great for people with busy schedules who don't have time to iron or make regular trips to the dry cleaner. CNN, 6 May 2022 The chairman did reiterate the committee’s expectation that many of the supply chain problems will eventually iron themselves out as the economy slows its growth. Jj Kinahan, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2022 But starting in elementary school Gorman began to teach herself to grasp, form and wield words just as a blacksmith brings heat, an anvil, and a hammer to iron. Washington Post, 7 Dec. 2021 How about healthy children and a husband who doesn’t have to iron his own shirts? Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 6 Dec. 2021 His wife, Catherin, used to drive to Flagstaff, an almost 50-mile journey south, just to iron their clothes. Neetish Basnet, The Arizona Republic, 20 Nov. 2021 Never iron, because microfiber will melt at high heat. Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2021 Opposition to iron dome funding came largely from progressive Democrats. Anthony Man,, 21 Oct. 2021 But she was also tasked with handling the costumes for the entire cast, arriving early to iron them before each performance and staying late to ensure that everything had been put back in its place. Los Angeles Times, 25 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of iron


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


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


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

History and Etymology for iron


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

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best irons.

Learn More About iron

Time Traveler for iron

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near iron



Iron Age

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for iron

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Iron.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for iron


\ 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


ironed; ironing

Kids Definition of iron (Entry 3 of 3)

: to press with a heated iron


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on iron

Nglish: Translation of iron for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of iron for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about iron


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!