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ironclad

[adjective ahy-ern-klad; noun ahy-ern-klad]
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adjective
  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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noun
  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

Examples from the Web for ironclad

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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

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

adj.

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