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[fer-uh s] /ˈfɛr əs/
adjective, Chemistry
of or containing iron, especially in the bivalent state.
1860-65; < Latin ferr(um) iron + -ous
Related forms
preferrous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ferrous
  • With the greenish, crystalline look of a pulverized windshield, ferrous sulfate is commonly given to iron-deficient humans.
  • No, that's how you can show that magnets can affect non-ferrous metals in a way that's easy to measure.
  • ferrous iron is better absorbed and is the preferred form of iron tablets.
  • In ferrous castings the effect is similar to quenching metals in forge work.
British Dictionary definitions for ferrous


of or containing iron in the divalent state; designating an iron (II) compound
Word Origin
C19: from ferri- + -ous
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
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Word Origin and History for ferrous

"pertaining to or containing iron," 1865, from Latin ferreus "made of iron," from ferrum "iron" (see ferro-). In chemistry, "containing iron," especially with a valence of two.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ferrous in Medicine

ferrous fer·rous (fěr'əs)
Of, relating to, or containing iron, especially with a valence of 2 or a valence lower than in a corresponding ferric compound.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ferrous in Science
Containing iron, especially iron with a valence of 2. Compare ferric.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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