- 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).
- a branding iron.
- 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.
- 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.
- iron out,
- 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.
- in irons,
- 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.
Origin of iron
Related Words for pump irondevelop, prepare, exert, train, improve, discipline, maneuver, practice, inure, rehearse, hone, fix, work, ply, labor, break, strain, foster, set, drill
- (intr) slang to exercise with weights; do body-building exercises
- 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-
- (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
- See shooting iron
- 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
Word Origin for iron
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Lift weights, as in She's started pumping iron three times a week. This idiom was born with the late-20th-century stress on physical fitness. [Second half of 1900s]
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