Jeremy (John),born 1948, English actor.




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.
a harpoon.
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!
a sword.


of, containing, or made of iron: an iron skillet.
resembling iron in firmness, strength, color, etc.: an iron will.
stern; harsh; cruel.
inflexible; unrelenting.
strong; robust; healthy.
holding or binding strongly: an iron grip.
irritating or harsh in tone: an iron voice.

verb (used with object)

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).

verb (used without object)

to press clothes, linens, etc., with an iron.

Verb Phrases

iron out,
  1. to iron or press (an item of clothing or the like).
  2. to remove (wrinkles) from by ironing.
  3. to resolve or clear up (difficulties, disagreements, etc.): The problem was ironed out months ago.


    in irons,
    1. Nautical.(of a sailing vessel) unable to maneuver because of the position of the sails with relation to the direction of the wind.
    2. Nautical.(of a towing vessel) unable to maneuver because of tension on the towing line.
    3. Also into 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.

Origin of iron

before 900; Middle English, Old English īren (noun and adj.), perhaps < *īsren, metathesized from īsern, variant of īsen; compare Old Saxon, Old High German, Old Norse īsarn, Gothic eisarn < Germanic *īsarnam, perhaps < Celtic; compare Gaulish Ysarno-, Iserno- (in place names), Old Breton hoiarn, Welsh haearn, Old Irish íarn
Related formsi·ron·less, adjectivei·ron·like, adjectiveun·i·roned, adjectivewell-i·roned, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for irons

Contemporary Examples of irons

Historical Examples of irons

  • Unless you do as I bid you, I will keep you in irons for the rest of the voyage!

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • The lieutenant now denounced us, and we prisoners were all put in irons.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Sixty-three skeletons were found here, many of them in irons.

  • "Take my irons, if you will not be angry with me," said Perdix, and he handed him a pair of compasses.

    Classic Myths

    Mary Catherine Judd

  • With a few blows from his hammer he knocked the irons from my feet.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for irons


pl n

fetters or chains (often in the phrase in or into irons)
in irons nautical (of a sailing vessel) headed directly into the wind without steerageway
have several irons in the fire to be involved in many projects, activities, etc



Jeremy. born 1948, British film and stage actor. His films include The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), The Mission (1986), Reversal of Fortune (1990), and Lolita (1997)



  1. 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°CSee also steel, cast iron, wrought iron, pig iron Related adjectives: ferric, ferrous Related prefix: ferro-
  2. (as modifier)iron railings
any of certain tools or implements made of iron or steel, esp for use when hota 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 shotsa No. 6 iron
an informal word for harpoon (def. 1)
US slang a splintlike support for a malformed leg
great hardness, strength, or resolvea will of iron
astronomy short for iron meteorite
strike while the iron is hot to act at an opportune moment


very hard, immovable, or implacableiron determination
very strong; extremely robustan iron constitution
cruel or unyieldinghe ruled with an iron hand
an iron fist a cruel and unyielding attitude or approachSee 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
See also iron out, irons
Derived Formsironer, nounironless, adjectiveironlike, adjective

Word Origin for iron

Old English irēn; related to Old High German īsan, Old Norse jārn; compare Old Irish īarn
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 irons



Old English isærn (with Middle English rhotacism of -s-) "the metal iron; an iron weapon," from Proto-Germanic *isarnan (cf. Old Saxon isarn, Old Norse isarn, Middle Dutch iser, Old High German isarn, German Eisen) "holy metal" or "strong metal" (in contrast to softer bronze) probably an early borrowing of Celt. *isarnon (cf. Old Irish iarn, Welsh haiarn), from PIE *is-(e)ro- "powerful, holy," from PIE *eis "strong" (cf. Sanskrit isirah "vigorous, strong," Greek ieros "strong").

Right so as whil that Iren is hoot men sholden smyte. [Chaucer, c.1386]

Chemical symbol Fe is from the Latin word for the metal, ferrum (see ferro-). Meaning "metal device used to press or smooth clothes" is from 1610s. The adjective is Old English iren, isern. To have (too) many irons in the fire "to be doing too much at once" is from 1540s. Iron lung "artificial respiration tank" is from 1932.



c.1400, irenen, "to make of iron," from iron (n.). Meaning "press clothes" (with a heated flat-iron) is recorded from 1670s. Related: Ironed; ironing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

irons in Medicine




A lustrous, malleable, ductile, magnetic or magnetizable metallic element. Atomic number 26.
A dietary supplement or medication containing an iron salt, such as ferrous sulfate.


Made of or containing iron.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

irons in Science




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.

Idioms and Phrases with irons


In addition to the idioms beginning with iron

  • iron hand
  • iron out
  • irons in the fire, too many

also see:

  • 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.