Chemistry. a ductile, malleable, silver-white metallic element, scarcely known in a pure condition, but much used in its crude or impure carbon-containing forms for making tools, implements, machinery, etc. Symbol: Fe; atomic weight: 55.847; atomic number: 26; specific gravity: 7.86 at 20°C.: Compare cast iron, pig iron, steel, wrought iron.
something hard, strong, rigid, unyielding, or the like: hearts of iron.
an instrument, utensil, weapon, etc., made of iron.
an appliance with a flat metal bottom, used when heated, as by electricity, to press or smooth clothes, linens, etc.
Golf. one of a series of nine iron-headed clubs having progressively sloped-back faces, used for driving or lofting the ball.: Compare wood1 (def. 8).
any of several tools, structural members, etc., of metals other than iron.
the blade of a carpenter's plane.
Slang. a pistol.
Medicine/Medical. a preparation of iron or containing iron, used chiefly in the treatment of anemia, or as a styptic and astringent.
irons, shackles or fetters: Put him in irons!
of, containing, or made of iron: an iron skillet.
resembling iron in firmness, strength, color, etc.: an iron will.
holding or binding strongly: The country is in the icy, iron grip of the beast from the east, bitter Siberian winds that have trapped us in winter.
irritating or harsh in tone: an iron voice.
to smooth or press with a heated iron, as clothes or linens.
to furnish, mount, or arm with iron.
to shackle or fetter with irons.
Metalworking. to smooth and thin the walls of (an object being deep-drawn).
to press clothes, linens, etc., with an iron.
to iron or press (an item of clothing or the like).
to remove (wrinkles) from by ironing.
to resolve or clear up (difficulties, disagreements, etc.): The problem was ironed out months ago.
Idioms about iron
Nautical. (of a sailing vessel) unable to maneuver because of the position of the sails with relation to the direction of the wind.
Nautical. (of a towing vessel) unable to maneuver because of tension on the towing line.
Also into irons. in shackles or fetters.
irons in the fire, matters with which one is immediately concerned; undertakings; projects: He had other irons in the fire, so that one failure would not destroy him.
pump iron, to lift weights as an exercise or in competition.
strike while the iron is hot, to act quickly when an opportunity presents itself.
- i·ron·less, adjective
- i·ron·like, adjective
- un·i·roned, adjective
- well-ironed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use iron in a sentence
“Some kinks need to be ironed out with the intoxicating open bar at the Mile High Club,” wrote Dowd.Maureen Dowd: ‘I Love’ Pot Billboard Using My Image, Will Use It for Christmas Card | Abby Haglage | September 17, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
For this role, Mueller, who earned a Tony nomination for her turn in On a Clear Day, ironed the vibrato out of her Broadway alto.‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’ Review: A Few Discordant Notes, But Damn Great Songs | Daniel Gross | January 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The women had ironed their cammies and made sure their hair was perfect.Women in Combat: The Lengths to Which They Must Go to Maintain Femininity | Lauren Ashburn | January 25, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
As the remaining hours of 2012 ticked away, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden ironed out a deal.Washington May Have a Deal on Taxes, but the Toughest Problems Remain | Daniel Gross | December 31, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
Such a conflict might have been ironed out privately and if that was impossible, then the governor could have resigned.
The baby's white robe, finely wrought in open-work, was also done, and freshly washed and ironed.Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
Now that the details were ironed out, it was fun to leave the closing date open.
Velvet cannot be ironed on a table, for, when spread out on a hard substance, the iron will not go smoothly over the pile.The Ladies' Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness | Florence Hartley
Seamen were kidnapped, often after a bloody struggle, and if caught inland were sent to the ports ironed like criminals.The Political History of England - Vol. X. | William Hunt
Nowadays there are too many hotels, and people go canoeing in ironed collars.A Hoosier Chronicle | Meredith Nicholson
British Dictionary definitions for iron
a malleable ductile silvery-white ferromagnetic metallic element occurring principally in haematite and magnetite. It is widely used for structural and engineering purposes. Symbol: Fe; atomic no: 26; atomic wt: 55.847; valency: 2,3,4, or 6; relative density: 7.874; melting pt: 1538°C; boiling pt: 2862°C: See also steel, cast iron, wrought iron, pig iron Related adjectives: ferric, ferrous Related prefix: ferro-
(as modifier): iron railings
any of certain tools or implements made of iron or steel, esp for use when hot: a grappling iron; a soldering iron
an appliance for pressing fabrics using dry heat or steam, esp a small electrically heated device with a handle and a weighted flat bottom
any of various golf clubs with narrow metal heads, numbered from 1 to 9 according to the slant of the face, used esp for approach shots: a No. 6 iron
an informal word for harpoon (def. 1)
US slang a splintlike support for a malformed leg
great hardness, strength, or resolve: a will of iron
astronomy short for iron meteorite
See shooting iron
strike while the iron is hot to act at an opportune moment
very hard, immovable, or implacable: iron determination
very strong; extremely robust: an iron constitution
cruel or unyielding: he ruled with an iron hand
an iron fist a cruel and unyielding attitude or approach: See also velvet (def. 6)
to smooth (clothes or fabric) by removing (creases or wrinkles) using a heated iron; press
(tr) to furnish or clothe with iron
(tr) rare to place (a prisoner) in irons
- ironer, noun
- ironless, adjective
- ironlike, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for iron
A silvery-white, hard metallic element that occurs abundantly in minerals such as hematite, magnetite, pyrite, and ilmenite. It is malleable and ductile, can be magnetized, and rusts readily in moist air. It is used to make steel and other alloys important in construction and manufacturing. Iron is a component of hemoglobin, which allows red blood cells to carry oxygen and carbon dioxide through the body. Atomic number 26; atomic weight 55.845; melting point 1,535°C; boiling point 2,750°C; specific gravity 7.874 (at 20°C); valence 2, 3, 4, 6. See Periodic Table. See Note at element.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with iron
In addition to the idioms beginning with iron
- iron hand
- iron out
- irons in the fire, too many
- pump iron
- strike while the iron's hot
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.