of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Ireland, its inhabitants, or their language.
the inhabitants of Ireland and their descendants elsewhere.
the aboriginal Celtic-speaking people of Ireland.
Also called Irish Gaelic. the Celtic language of Ireland in its historical or modern form. Abbreviation: Ir, Ir. Compare Middle Irish, Old Irish.
get one's Irish up, Informal. to become angry or outraged: Don't go getting your Irish up over a little matter like that.

1175–1225; Middle English Yrisse, Iris(c)h; compare Old English Īras people of Ireland (cognate with Old Norse Īrar); see -ish1

Irishly, adverb
anti-Irish, adjective, noun
half-Irish, adjective
non-Irish, adjective, noun
pre-Irish, adjective
pro-Irish, adjective
pseudo-Irish, adjective

See Irish pennant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To irish
World English Dictionary
Irish (ˈaɪrɪʃ)
1.  of, relating to, or characteristic of Ireland, its people, their Celtic language, or their dialect of English
2.  informal, offensive ludicrous or illogical
3.  (functioning as plural) the Irish the natives or inhabitants of Ireland
4.  another name for Irish Gaelic

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1200, Irisce, from stem of O.E. Iras "inhabitant of Ireland," from O.N. irar, ult. from O.Ir. Eriu (acc. Eirinn, Erinn) "Erin," which is from O.Celt. *Iveriu (acc. *Iverionem, abl. *Iverione), perhaps meaning "good land." Meaning "temper, passion" is 1834, Amer.Eng. (first attested in writings of Davy
Crockett), from the legendary pugnacity of Irish people. Irish-American is from 1832; Irish coffee is from 1950. Wild Irish (1399) originally were those not under English rule; Black Irish in ref. to those of Mediterranean appearance is from 1888.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see luck of the devil (Irish).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Idioms & Phrases
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature