• synonyms


[adjective ahy-ern-klad; noun ahy-ern-klad]
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  1. covered or cased with iron plates, as a ship for naval warfare; armor-plated.
  2. very rigid or exacting; inflexible; unbreakable: an ironclad contract.
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  1. a wooden warship of the middle or late 19th century having iron or steel armor plating.
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Origin of ironclad

First recorded in 1850–55; iron + clad1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ironclad

abiding, unwavering, definite, inflexible, firm, certain, changeless, confirmed, enduring, planned, settled, stated, stubborn, sure, unalterable, uncompromising, determinate, agreed, prearranged

Examples from the Web for ironclad

Contemporary Examples of ironclad

Historical Examples of ironclad

  • First of all I'd have to tie Josephine Francis down with an ironclad contract.

  • You might go so far as t' give that bellerin' ironclad a toot.'

  • The ironclad seemed to rebound and tremble for a moment, and then passed on.

    The Lively Poll

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • The vessel described was the Miantonoma, an American ironclad turret-ship.

    Man on the Ocean

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • A monster Russian ironclad, it was said, lay somewhere “outside.”

British Dictionary definitions for ironclad


adjective (ˌaɪənˈklæd)
  1. covered or protected with ironan ironclad warship
  2. inflexible; rigidan ironclad rule
  3. not able to be assailed or contradictedan ironclad argument
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noun (ˈaɪənˌklæd)
  1. a large wooden 19th-century warship with armoured plating
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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 ironclad


1852, of warships, American English, from iron (n.) + clad. Of contracts, etc., 1884. As a noun meaning "iron-clad ship," it is attested from 1862.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper