American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One of a pair of metal supports used for holding up logs in a fireplace. Also called dog; also called regionally dog iron, firedog.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of a pair of metallic stands used to support wood burned on an open hearth. It consists of a horizontal iron bar raised on short legs, with an upright standard in front. Usually the standard is surmounted by a knob or other device, and it is sometimes elaborately ornamented and often sheathed with brass- or silver-work. The standards, before the general adoption of grate-fires, were often made very high; those for kitchen use had brackets for holding the roasting-spit and hooks upon which kettles could be hung, and sometimes fiat or bracket-shaped tops for holding dishes; others were artistically forged in wrought-iron, or had the whole upright piece carved in bronze or some other costly material. Seldom used in the singular. Also called
- n. A utensil for supporting wood when burning in a fireplace, one being placed on each side; a firedog; as, a pair of andirons.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A utensil for supporting wood when burning in a fireplace, one being placed on each side; a firedog.
- n. metal supports for logs in a fireplace
- Middle English anderne (aunderne, aundyre), from Old French andier (mod. landier), from Gaulish anderon 'calf' (compare Irish ainnir 'young woman', Welsh anner 'heifer, cow-calf', enderig 'bull-calf, ox', Breton annoar 'heifer, cow-calf'), because calves rather than dogs figured prominently on ancient Celtic firedogs. Altered in form under the unfluence of iron. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English aundiren, alteration (influenced by Middle English iren, iron) of Old French andier, of Celtic origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Under his government industry flourished,and the mines and smokestacks of the Ruhr supplied his régime with the coal and the steel which, even more than blood andiron, underwrote the prosperity of the Reich.”
“Then from the kitchen appeared Hristo with what looked like part of an andiron set with narrow pincers made for grabbing thin kindling, glowing bright orange.”
“She watched him commune with the stone for a few moments, then examined the andiron more closely.”
“She tried tugging on a tall, ornate sphinx-shaped andiron.”
“Grace was bearing down on the left andiron, shoving it toward the floor.”
“Tom got out his chiefest jewel, a brass knob from the top of an andiron, and passed it around her so that she could see it, and said:”
“He'd managed to grab an andiron by its coolest point and he waved it around.”
“He turned and bent down and carefully placed the andiron back in the fireplace.”
“In frustration he dashed the con - tents into the fire, then smashed the cup on the andiron.”
“Other items found were a scissors-shaped candle snuffer used to trim wick, parts of a flintlock pistol, flatware, a coat button, an ornamental andiron, and a drawknife that may be part of a set of cooper's tools listed in a 1732 inventory of the Madisons 'property.”
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