iron: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (ī'urn), [key]
— n.
  1. a ductile, malleable, silver-white metallic element, scarcely known in a pure condition, but much used in its crude or impure carbon-containing forms for making tools, implements, machinery, etc. Symbol: Fe; at. wt.: 55.847; at. no.: 26; sp. gr.: 7.86 at 20°C. Cf. cast iron, pig iron, steel, wrought iron.
  2. something hard, strong, rigid, unyielding, or the like: hearts of iron.
  3. an instrument, utensil, weapon, etc., made of iron.
  4. an appliance with a flat metal bottom, used when heated, as by electricity, to press or smooth clothes, linens, etc.
  5. one of a series of nine iron-headed clubs having progressively sloped-back faces, used for driving or lofting the ball. Cf. wood (def. 8).
  6. a branding iron.
  7. any of several tools, structural members, etc., of metals other than iron.
  8. the blade of a carpenter's plane.
  9. a pistol.
  10. a harpoon.
  11. a preparation of iron or containing iron, used chiefly in the treatment of anemia, or as a styptic and astringent.
  12. shackles or fetters: Put him in irons!
  13. a sword.
    1. Naut.(of a sailing vessel) unable to maneuver because of the position of the sails with relation to the direction of the wind.
    2. Naut.(of a towing vessel) unable to maneuver because of tension on the towing line.
    3. Also,into shackles or fetters.
  14. matters with which one is immediately concerned; undertakings; projects: He had other irons in the fire, so that one failure would not destroy him.
  15. to lift weights as an exercise or in competition.
  16. to act quickly when an opportunity presents itself.
  1. of, containing, or made of iron: an iron skillet.
  2. resembling iron in firmness, strength, color, etc.: an iron will.
  3. stern; harsh; cruel.
  4. inflexible; unrelenting.
  5. strong; robust; healthy.
  6. holding or binding strongly: an iron grip.
  7. irritating or harsh in tone: an iron voice.
  1. to smooth or press with a heated iron, as clothes or linens.
  2. to furnish, mount, or arm with iron.
  3. to shackle or fetter with irons.
  4. to smooth and thin the walls of (an object being deep-drawn).
  1. to press clothes, linens, etc., with an iron.
  2. The problem was ironed out months ago.
    1. to iron or press (an item of clothing or the like).
    2. to remove (wrinkles) from by ironing.
    3. to resolve or clear up (difficulties, disagreements, etc.):The problem was ironed out months ago.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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