[ ahy-rid ]
/ ˈaɪ rɪd /
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any plant belonging to the Iridaceae, the iris family.
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Origin of irid

1865–70; <New Latin, Latin īrid-, stem of īrisiris

Other definitions for irid (2 of 2)


variant of irido- before a vowel: iridectomy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does irid- mean?

Irid- is a combining form used like a prefix with several meanings:

  • In medicine, irid- can refer to the iris, the colored portion of the eye.
  • In botany, it can refer to the genus Iris, a family of beautiful flowering plants.
  • In chemistry, irid- represents the precious metallic element iridium.

Irid- can also denote “rainbow” and “iridescent.” In fact, irid- comes from the Greek îris, meaning “rainbow” and “iris.”

As you likely guessed, the Greek îris is the source of the English word iris and the shimmering word iridescent. In Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow and acted as a messenger to the gods.

Irid- is a variant of irido-, which loses its -o– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use irido- article.

Examples of irid-

A term from medicine that features the combining form irid- is iridectomy, “excision of part of the iris.”

In medical terms, irid- represents “iris,” the colored part of the eye. The -ectomy part of the word is a combining form meaning “excision, removal.” Iridectomy literally translates to “iris removal.”

What are some words that use or are related the combining form irid-?

What are some other forms that irid- may be commonly confused with?

While they may look and sound alike, irid- and arid are not related. Learn about the meaning and history of arid at our entry for the word.

Break it down!

The suffix -ous has the general sense of “possessing, full of” a given quality. With this in mind, what does the term iridous mean in chemistry, broadly speaking?

How to use irid in a sentence