Webster 1913 Edition
īsern; akin to D.
jārn, Sw. & Dan.
jern, and perh. to E.
ice; cf. Ir.
The most common and most useful metallic element, being of almost universal occurrence, usually in the form of an oxide (as
magnetite, etc.), or a hydrous oxide (as
turgite, etc.). It is reduced on an enormous scale in three principal forms; viz.,
wrought iron. Iron usually appears dark brown, from oxidation or impurity, but when pure, or on a fresh surface, is a gray or white metal. It is easily oxidized (rusted) by moisture, and is attacked by many corrosive agents. Symbol Fe (Latin Ferrum). Atomic number 26, atomic weight 55.847. Specific gravity, pure iron, 7.86; cast iron, 7.1. In magnetic properties, it is superior to all other substances.
☞ The value of iron is largely due to the facility with which it can be worked. Thus, when heated it is malleable and ductile, and can be easily welded and forged at a high temperature. As cast iron, it is easily fusible; as steel, is very tough, and (when tempered) very hard and elastic. Chemically, iron is grouped with cobalt and nickel. Steel is a variety of iron containing more carbon than wrought iron, but less that cast iron. It is made either from wrought iron, by roasting in a packing of carbon (cementation) or from cast iron, by burning off the impurities in a Bessemer converter (then called Bessemer steel), or directly from the iron ore (as in the Siemens rotatory and generating furnace).
An instrument or utensil made of iron; – chiefly in composition;
as, a flat
iron, a smoothing
My young soldier, put up your
Fetters; chains; handcuffs; manacles.
Four of the sufferers were left to rot in
Strength; power; firmness; inflexibility;
as, to rule with a rod of.
bog ore; limonite. See–
Bog ore, under
an impure variety of iron, containing from three to six percent of carbon, part of which is united with a part of the iron, as a carbide, and the rest is uncombined, as graphite. It there is little free carbon, the product is–
white iron; if much of the carbon has separated as graphite, it is called
gray iron. See also
Cast iron, in the Vocabulary.
said of a sailing vessel, when, in tacking, she comes up head to the wind and will not fill away on either tack.–
iron sufficiently pure or soft to be capable of extension under the hammer; also, specif., a kind of iron produced by removing a portion of the carbon or other impurities from cast iron, rendering it less brittle, and to some extent malleable.–
iron forming a large, and often the chief, ingredient of meteorites. It invariably contains a small amount of nickel and cobalt. Cf.–
the form in which cast iron is made at the blast furnace, being run into molds, called pigs.–
Too many irons in the fire,
too many objects or tasks requiring the attention at once.–
the purest form of iron commonly known in the arts, containing only about half of one per cent of carbon. It is made either directly from the ore, as in the Catalan forge or bloomery, or by purifying (puddling) cast iron in a reverberatory furnace or refinery. It is tough, malleable, and ductile. When formed into bars, it is called
Of, or made of iron; consisting of iron;
Resembling iron in color;
Rude; hard; harsh; severe.
Ironyears of wars and dangers.
Not to be broken; holding or binding fast; tenacious.“Him death’s iron sleep oppressed.”
☞ Iron is often used in composition, denoting made of iron, relating to iron, of or with iron; producing iron, etc.; resembling iron, literally or figuratively, in some of its properties or characteristics; as, iron-shod, iron-sheathed, iron-fisted, iron-framed, iron-handed, iron-hearted, iron foundry or iron-foundry.
The age following the golden, silver, and bronze ages, and characterized by a general degeneration of talent and virtue, and of literary excellence. In Roman literature the
Iron Ageis commonly regarded as beginning after the taking of Rome by the Goths,
That stage in the development of any people characterized by the use of iron implements in the place of the more cumbrous stone and bronze.–
a cement for joints, composed of cast-iron borings or filings, sal ammoniac, etc.–
a yellowish clay containing a large proportion of an ore of iron.–
a German, and before that Prussian, order of military merit; also, the decoration of the order.–
a golden crown set with jewels, belonging originally to the Lombard kings, and indicating the dominion of Italy. It was so called from containing a circle said to have been forged from one of the nails in the cross of Christ.–
an opaque, flintlike, ferruginous variety of quartz.–
a maker of iron castings.–
the place where iron castings are made.–
a furnace for reducing iron from the ore, or for melting iron for castings, etc.; a forge; a reverberatory; a bloomery.–
a headpiece of iron or steel, shaped like a hat with a broad brim, and used as armor during the Middle Ages.–
a locomotive engine.
a solution of an iron salt, used as a mordant by dyers.–
a name for the self-acting spinning mule.–
a yellow spot on cloth stained by rusty iron.–
any native compound of iron from which the metal may be profitably extracted. The principal ores are magnetite, hematite, siderite, limonite, Göthite, turgite, and the bog and clay iron ores.–
common pyrites, or pyrite. See–
an iron ore in grains, usually the magnetic iron ore, formerly used to sand paper after writing.–
the thin film which forms on the surface of wrought iron in the process of forging. It consists essentially of the magnetic oxide of iron,–
a furnace where iron is smelted, or a forge, rolling mill, or foundry, where it is made into heavy work, such as shafting, rails, cannon, merchant bar, etc.
imp. & p. p.
p. pr. & vb. n.
To smooth with an instrument of iron; especially, to smooth, as cloth, with a heated flatiron; – sometimes used with
To shackle with irons; to fetter or handcuff.“Ironed like a malefactor.”
Sir W. Scott.
Webster 1828 Edition
1.A metal, the hardest, most common and most useful of all the metals; of a livid whitish color inclined to gray, internally composed, to appearance, of small facets, and susceptible of a fine polish. It is so hard and elastic as to be capable of destroying the aggregation of any other metal. Next to tin, it is the lightest of all metallic substances, and next to gold, the most tenacious. It may be hammered into plates,but not into leaves. Its ductility is more considerable. It has the property of magnetism; it is attracted by the lodestone, and will acquire its properties. It is found rarely in native masses, but in ores, mineralized by different substances, it abounds in every part of the earth. Its medicinal qualities are valuable.
2.An instrument or utensil made of iron; as a flat-iron, a smoothing-iron.
Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? Job.41.
3.Figuratively, strength; power; as a rod of iron. Dan.2.
4.Irons, plu. fetters; chains; manacles; handcuffs. Ps.105.
See also: irón
iron (countable and uncountable, plural irons)
- (uncountable) A common, inexpensive metal, often black in color, that rusts, is attracted by magnets, and is used in making steel.
- 2013 May-June, Kevin Heng, “Why Does Nature Form Exoplanets Easily?”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 184:
- In the past two years, NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has located nearly 3,000 exoplanet candidates ranging from sub-Earth-sized minions to gas giants that dwarf our own Jupiter. Their densities range from that of styrofoam to iron.
- (uncountable, physics, chemistry, metallurgy) A metallic chemical element having atomic number 26 and symbol Fe.
- (uncountable, countable, metallurgy) Any material, not a steel, predominantly made of elemental iron.
- wrought iron, ductile iron, cast iron, pig iron, gray iron
- (countable) A tool or appliance made of metal, which is heated and then used to transfer heat to something else; most often a thick piece of metal fitted with a handle and having a flat, roughly triangular bottom, which is heated and used to press wrinkles from clothing, and now usually containing an electrical heating apparatus.
- (usually plural, irons) Shackles.
- (slang) A handgun.
- (uncountable) A dark shade of the colour/color silver.
- (Cockney rhyming slang, shortened from iron hoof, rhyming with poof; countable, offensive) A male homosexual.
- (golf) A golf club used for middle-distance shots.
- (uncountable) Great strength or power.
- For usage examples of this term, see Citations:iron.
- (metallic chemical element): ferrum
- (tool for pressing clothing): flatiron (old-fashioned), smoothing iron (old-fashioned)
- (shackles): shackles
- (homosexual): poof, queer
- (strength or power): energy, force
- (metallic chemical element): chemical element, metal; atom
- (tool for pressing clothing): tool, mechanical device
- (shackles): restraint
- (handgun): weapon
- (dark shade of silver): colour, color; shade; silver
- (strength or power): force, might, energy
- (shackles): leg irons
- (golf club): driving iron, long iron, short iron, 1-iron, 2-iron, 3-iron, 4-iron, 5-iron, 6-iron, 7-iron, 8-iron, 9-iron,
- (strength or power): ironman
- (metallic chemical element): molecule (sometimes)
- (tool for pressing clothing): mangle
terms derived from the noun "iron"
for pressing clothes
shackles — see shackles
shade of the colour silver
- ↑ Donald A. Ringe, From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic (Oxford: Oxford, 2006), 296.
- ↑ J.P. Mallory and Douglas Q. Adams, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, s.v. "blood" (London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1999).
iron (not comparable)
- (not comparable) Made of the metal iron.
- (figuratively) Strong (as of will), inflexible.
- She had an iron will.
- He held on with an iron grip.
- an iron constitution
- (strong of will, inflexible): adamant, adamantine, brassbound
- (made of the metal iron): wrought-iron
terms derived from adjective "iron"
made of iron
iron (third-person singular simple present irons, present participle ironing, simple past and past participle ironed)
- (transitive) To pass an iron over (clothing or some other item made of cloth) in order to remove creases.
- (transitive, archaic) To shackle with irons; to fetter or handcuff.
- Sir Walter Scott
- Ironed like a malefactor.
- Sir Walter Scott
- (transitive) To furnish or arm with iron.
- to iron a wagon
- (to pass an iron over): press
- (to pass an iron over): mangle
- Japanese: アイロン (airon)
to pass an iron over clothing
to shackle with irons
to furnish or arm with iron