• synonyms


  1. a strong person with great power of endurance or resistance.
  2. (initial capital letter) an epithet or nickname of Edmund II.
  3. (initial capital letter) Usually Ironsides.
    1. (used with a singular verb)a nickname of Oliver Cromwell.
    2. the soldiers serving under Cromwell.
  4. ironsides, (usually used with a singular verb)
    1. an ironclad.
    2. Eastern U.S.scup.
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Origin of ironside

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at iron, side1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ironsides

Historical Examples

  • In the name of the Deity he charged at the head of his Ironsides.

    Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 2 August 1848


  • She referred him to Susan to see if there were rooms which the Ironsides could have.

  • Again he reminded one of the "predestined" leader of the Ironsides.

    The Broken Sword

    Dennison Worthington

  • A mast and sail was put into the life-boat, which we named the "Ironsides."

    North-Pole Voyages

    Zachariah Atwell Mudge

  • Every thing in the "Ironsides" was wet, but the stores of the "Hope" were in perfect order.

    North-Pole Voyages

    Zachariah Atwell Mudge

British Dictionary definitions for ironsides


  1. a person with great stamina or resistance
  2. an ironclad ship
  3. (often capital) (in the English Civil War)
    1. the cavalry regiment trained and commanded by Oliver Cromwell
    2. Cromwell's entire army
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  1. nickname of Edmund II of EnglandSee Edmund II
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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 ironsides


name given to a man of great hardihood or bravery, c.1300, first applied to Edmund II, king of England (d.1016), later also to Oliver Cromwell and his troops. Old Ironsides as a nickname of U.S.S. "Constitution" dates from that ship's defeat of H.M.S. "Guerriere" on Aug. 19, 1812, in the War of 1812.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper