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[ahy-ern-sahyd] /ˈaɪ ərnˌsaɪd/
a strong person with great power of endurance or resistance.
(initial capital letter) an epithet or nickname of Edmund II.
(initial capital letter). Usually, Ironsides.
  1. (used with a singular verb) a nickname of Oliver Cromwell.
  2. the soldiers serving under Cromwell.
ironsides, (usually used with a singular verb)
  1. an ironclad.
  2. Eastern U.S. scup.
Origin of ironside
Middle English word dating back to 1250-1300; See origin at iron, side1

Edmund II

or Eadmund II

("Ironside") a.d. c980–1016, English king 1016: defeated by Canute. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ironside
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He went to sea in a privateer under captain ironside, his uncle, and changed his name to Lewson.

  • "I have just been hearing about your marriage, ironside," he said.

  • The torch passed down to him from his old ironside ancestors, it still glowed.

    All Roads Lead to Calvary Jerome K. Jerome
  • My father had this stubborn virtue to the full; and so had that old ironside Ireton from whom we are descended.

    The Master of Appleby Francis Lynde
  • A few steps more, and the bushes had blotted out the ironside and his thanes.

    The Ward of King Canute Ottilie A. Liljencrantz
  • But the ironside caught it on his shield and delivered a sword-thrust in return that dropped the Dane's arm by his side.

    The Ward of King Canute Ottilie A. Liljencrantz
  • Then, for the first time in six weeks, I see that the ironside is cunning in thought.

    The Ward of King Canute Ottilie A. Liljencrantz
  • A sudden surge in the tide of struggling bodies swept the ironside out of reach and engulfed him in a whirlpool of Danish swords.

    The Ward of King Canute Ottilie A. Liljencrantz
  • Mr. ironside, tell me honestly, wouldn't you despise me if I married you in that way—taking all and giving nothing?

British Dictionary definitions for ironside


nickname of Edmund II of England See Edmund II

Edmund II

called Edmund Ironside. ?980–1016, king of England in 1016. His succession was contested by Canute and they divided the kingdom between them
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ironside


name given to a man of great hardihood or bravery, c.1300, first applied to Edmund II, king of England (d.1016), later also to Oliver Cromwell and his troops. Old Ironsides as a nickname of U.S.S. "Constitution" dates from that ship's defeat of H.M.S. "Guerriere" on Aug. 19, 1812, in the War of 1812.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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