- Anatomy. the contractile, circular diaphragm forming the colored portion of the eye and containing a circular opening, the pupil, in its center.
- Botany. any plant of the genus Iris, having showy flowers and sword-shaped leaves.Compare iris family.
- a flower of this plant.
- (initial capital letter) Classical Mythology. a messenger of the gods, regarded as the goddess of the rainbow.
- a rainbow.
- any appearance resembling a rainbow.
- Movies, Television. an iris-in or iris-out.
- Optics, Photography. iris diaphragm.
- Movies. to begin or end a take or scene with an iris-in or iris-out, achieved by manipulation of an iris diaphragm on the camera or by editing the film.
Origin of iris
- a female given name.
Examples from the Web for iris
The Black PrinceBy Iris Murdoch This is my favourite novel of all time and is structurally extremely (and successfully) ambitious.The Most Unreliable Narrators, From Agatha Christie to Iris Murdoch
April 2, 2014
The same is true for Iris Dart, who has adapted her book Beaches (later a popular film) for the stage.Is Broadway Being Destroyed by Hollywood?
March 17, 2014
Iris (name has been changed) has become one such “status symbol.”Inside China’s Mistress-Industrial Complex
Junheng Li, Bethany Allen, Ana Swanson
February 4, 2014
Iris Van Herpen and Delphine Manivet each have a technical mastery that falls within the luxurious customs of haute couture.The New Queens of Haute Couture
January 27, 2014
“Do not dare come to our country,” Venezuelan Minister of Prison Affairs Iris Varela shot back.Venezuela’s Constitutional Mess
January 20, 2013
No one dared to use the rainbow but Iris, to whom it had been given by Jupiter.Classic Myths
Mary Catherine Judd
In ancient art Iris is represented with wings and a herald's staff.
He was not a bad genealogist who said that Iris (the messenger of heaven) is the child of Thaumas (wonder).Theaetetus
Iris also appears to have been called from the verb 'to tell' (eirein), because she was a messenger.Cratylus
She did not know but what he was now betrothed to Iris, and she did not care.Pretty Madcap Dorothy
Laura Jean Libbey
- the coloured muscular diaphragm that surrounds and controls the size of the pupil
- Also called: fleur-de-lys any plant of the iridaceous genus Iris, having brightly coloured flowers composed of three petals and three drooping sepalsSee also flag 3, orris 1, stinking iris
- Also called: rainbow quartz a form of quartz that reflects light polychromatically from internal fractures
- a rare or poetic word for rainbow
- something resembling a rainbow; iridescence
- short for iris diaphragm
- the goddess of the rainbow along which she travelled to earth as a messenger of the gods
Word Origin and History for iris
late 14c., flowering plant (Iris germanica), also "prismatic rock crystal," from Latin iris (plural irides) "iris of the eye, iris plant, rainbow," from Greek iris (genitive iridos) "a rainbow; the lily; iris of the eye," originally "messenger of the gods," personified as the rainbow. The eye region was so called (early 15c. in English) for being the colored part; the Greek word was used of any brightly colored circle, "as that round the eyes of a peacock's tail" [Liddell and Scott].
- The round pigmented contractile membrane of the eye that is perforated in the center by the pupil, forms the front part of the vascular tunic, and is attached on the margin to the ciliary body.
- The colored, muscular ring around the pupil of the eye in vertebrate animals, located between the cornea and lens. Contraction and expansion of the iris controls the size of the pupil, thereby regulating the amount of light reaching the retina.