from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or relating to Ireland or its people, language, or culture.
  • noun The people of Ireland.
  • noun People of Irish ancestry.
  • noun The Goidelic language of Ireland.
  • noun Informal Fieriness of temper or passion; high spirit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Wrathful; choleric.
  • Pertaining to Ireland, or to the people of Ireland, an island lying west of Great Britain and forming part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
  • Pertaining to the Celtic inhabitants (the Gaels) of Scotland; Erse.
  • Irish embroidery of any sort.
  • noun plural The inhabitants of Ireland.
  • noun The language of the native Celtic race in Ireland.
  • noun English as spoken by natives of Ireland, with characteristic peculiarities (the “Irish brogue”).
  • noun An old game similar to backgammon, but more complicated. Halliwell. Compare after game at Irish, under after-game.
  • noun Abbreviated Irish

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The natives or inhabitants of Ireland, esp. the Celtic natives or their descendants.
  • noun The language of the Irish; also called Irish Gaelic or the Hiberno-Celtic.
  • noun An old game resembling backgammon.
  • noun to become angry.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to Ireland or to its inhabitants; produced in Ireland.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) See under Elk.
  • adjective (Bot.) A preparation of the same made into a blanc mange.
  • adjective See Poplin.
  • adjective the ordinary white potato, so called because it is a favorite article of food in Ireland.
  • adjective (Naut.) the head of a sail tied up.
  • adjective meat, potatoes, and onions, cut in small pieces and stewed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun The Goidelic language indigenous to Ireland, also known as Irish Gaelic.
  • noun as plural The Irish people.
  • noun obsolete A board game of the tables family.
  • noun US Temper; anger, passion.
  • noun whiskey, or whisky, elaborated in Ireland.
  • adjective Pertaining to or originating from Ireland or the Irish people.
  • adjective Pertaining to the Irish language.
  • adjective Nonsensical, daft or complex.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the Celtic language of Ireland
  • noun people of Ireland or of Irish extraction
  • noun whiskey made in Ireland chiefly from barley
  • adjective of or relating to or characteristic of Ireland or its people


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English Īras, the Irish; see peiə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English Irisce (12th c.), from Old English Īras ("Irishmen"), from Old Norse írar, from Old Irish Ériu (mod. Éire ("Ireland")), from Proto-Celtic *Īwerjū 'fat land, fertile'; akin to Ancient Greek  (píeira, "fertile land"), Sanskrit  (pívarī, "fat")'.


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  • I thought this article about slang using "Irish" was pretty interesting. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

    March 17, 2010

  • One of my regular sites, but I somehow missed this article! Thanks, chained.

    I especially like this: "But since these terms are born and raised in Stereotype-istan, it’s not surprising I couldn’t find examples of anyone getting their Canadian or Swiss up."

    March 18, 2010