Definitions

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A utensil for supporting wood when burning in a fireplace, one being placed on each side; a firedog; as, a pair of andirons.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A utensil for supporting wood when burning in a fireplace, one being placed on each side; a firedog.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of a pair of metallic stands used to support wood burned on an open hearth.

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

  • n. metal supports for logs in a fireplace

Etymologies

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)
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)

Examples

  • Under his government industry flourished,and the mines and smokestacks of the Ruhr supplied his r├ęgime with the coal and the steel which, even more than blood andiron, underwrote the prosperity of the Reich.

    FORGE OF EMPIRES 1861-1871

  • 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.

    become a regular

  • She watched him commune with the stone for a few moments, then examined the andiron more closely.

    Sonnet of the Sphinx

  • She tried tugging on a tall, ornate sphinx-shaped andiron.

    Sonnet of the Sphinx

  • Grace was bearing down on the left andiron, shoving it toward the floor.

    Sonnet of the Sphinx

  • 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:

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

  • He'd managed to grab an andiron by its coolest point and he waved it around.

    KILLING COUSINS

  • He turned and bent down and carefully placed the andiron back in the fireplace.

    KILLING COUSINS

  • In frustration he dashed the con - tents into the fire, then smashed the cup on the andiron.

    Flint, the King

  • 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.

    Boyhood Home

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  • Andirons of brass, nearly six feet high, flanked the hearthstone.

    - Frank Norris, The Octopus, bk 2, ch. 8

    August 29, 2008