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andiron

[and-ahy-ern]
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noun
  1. one of a pair of metal stands, usually of iron or brass, for holding logs in a fireplace.
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Origin of andiron

1250–1300; Middle English aundyr(n)e, Anglo-French aundyre, with the 2nd syllable taken as Middle English ire, iren iron < Old French andier, allegedly < Gaulish *anderos young animal (through known use of animals’ heads as decorations on andirons), though supposed relation between this word and Middle Welsh anneir, Breton annoer heifer, Old Irish ainder young woman, poses serious phonetic problems

Regional variation note

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for andiron

Historical Examples

  • He hit it against the andiron to knock the ashes off, and plunged it into the mixture.

    Ben Comee

    M. J. (Michael Joseph) Canavan

  • He was looking at the elevated portions of the andiron which were invisible to me.

    The Sleuth of St. James's Square

    Melville Davisson Post

  • An andiron, a wash-tub, is the result of an idea that did not exist before.

    Mark Twain's Speeches

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • Fastening the frame to the andiron is done with a stud and bolt.

  • The stand is finished to correspond with the andiron and fire tools.


British Dictionary definitions for andiron

andiron

noun
  1. another name for firedog
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French andier, of unknown origin; influenced by iron
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

Word Origin and History for andiron

n.

c.1300, from Old French andier, of unknown origin, perhaps from Gaulish *andero- "a young bull" (cf. Welsh anner "heifer"), which would make sense if they once had bull's heads cast onto them. Altered by influence of Middle English iren (see iron (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper