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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.
iron i·ron (ī'ərn)
Symbol Fe A lustrous, malleable, ductile, magnetic or magnetizable metallic element. Atomic number 26; atomic weight 55.847; melting point 1,538°C; boiling point 2,860°C; specific gravity 7.874 (at 20°C); valence 2, 3, 4, 6.
A pill or other medication containing iron and taken as a dietary supplement.
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.
Tubal-Cain is the first-mentioned worker in iron (Gen. 4:22). The Egyptians wrought it at Sinai before the Exodus. David prepared it in great abundance for the temple (1 Chr. 22:3: 29:7). The merchants of Dan and Javan brought it to the market of Tyre (Ezek. 27:19). Various instruments are mentioned as made of iron (Deut. 27:5; 19:5; Josh. 17:16, 18; 1 Sam. 17:7; 2 Sam. 12:31; 2 Kings 6:5, 6; 1 Chr. 22:3; Isa. 10:34). Figuratively, a yoke of iron (Deut. 28:48) denotes hard service; a rod of iron (Ps. 2:9), a stern government; a pillar of iron (Jer. 1:18), a strong support; a furnace of iron (Deut. 4:20), severe labour; a bar of iron (Job 40:18), strength; fetters of iron (Ps. 107:10), affliction; giving silver for iron (Isa. 60:17), prosperity.