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definition of the word iron

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The position of the element iron in the periodic table, and its structure.

From Middle English iren, a rhotacism of Old English īsern (also isærn, iren, isen). Cognate with Danish jærn, Middle Dutch iser (Dutch ijzer), Frankish īsarn, Old Frisian īsern, Old High German isarn (German Eisen), Old Norse ísarn (also járn) Swedish järn, Old Saxon isarn.

The word derives from the Proto-Germanic *īsarna-, which is most likely from the Proto-Celtic *isarnon (Old Irish iarn, Welsh haearn, haiarn), from the Proto-Indo-European *is-(e)ro- (powerful or holy), from the Proto-Indo-European *eis (strong). Cognate on that level to the Sanskrit  (isirah), vigorous, strong) and the Greek ἱερός (hierós), strong). Possibly akin to the Latin ira (anger).

Chemical element
Fe Previous: manganese (Mn)
Next: cobalt (Co)


countable and uncountable; irons

iron (countable and uncountable; plural irons)

An electric clothes iron.
  1. (uncountable, chemistry) A metallic chemical element having atomic number 26, and symbol Fe.
  2. (countable) A tool or appliance made of metal, which is heated and then used to transfer heat to something else; most often a thick piece of metal fitted with a handle and having a flat, roughly triangular bottom, which is heated and used to press wrinkles from clothing, and now usually containing an electrical heating apparatus.
  3. (usually plural, irons) Shackles.
  4. (slang) A handgun.
  5. (uncountable) A dark shade of the colour/color silver.
  6. (Cockney rhyming slang, shortened from iron hoof, rhyming with poof; countable, offensive) A male homosexual.

Definition from Wiktionary
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