from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The pigmented, round, contractile membrane of the eye, suspended between the cornea and lens and perforated by the pupil. It regulates the amount of light entering the eye.
- n. Any of numerous plants of the genus Iris, having narrow sword-shaped leaves and showy, variously colored flowers.
- n. A rainbow or rainbowlike display of colors.
- n. An iris diaphragm.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A plant of the genus Iris, common in the northern hemisphere, and generally having attractive blooms (Wikipedia).
- n. The contractile membrane perforated by the pupil, which adjusts to control the amount of light reaching the retina, and which forms the colored portion of the eye (Wikipedia).
- n. A diaphragm used to regulate the size of a hole, especially as a way of controlling the amount of light reaching a lens.
- n. A rainbow, or other colourful refraction of light.
- n. A constricted opening in the path inside a waveguide, used to form a resonator.
- v. To open or close in the manner of an iris.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The goddess of the rainbow, and swift-footed messenger of the gods.
- n. The rainbow.
- n. An appearance resembling the rainbow; a prismatic play of colors.
- n. The contractile membrane perforated by the pupil, and forming the colored portion of the eye. See Eye.
- n. A genus of plants having showy flowers and bulbous or tuberous roots, of which the flower-de-luce (fleur-de-lis), orris, and other species of flag are examples. See Illust. of Flower-de-luce.
- n. See Fleur-de-lis, 2.
- n. the inner circle of an oscillated color spot.
- n. same as iris diaphragm.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The rainbow.
- n. [capitalized] In classical mythology, the goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the gods, attached especially to Hera.
- n. [capitalized] The seventh planetoid, discovered by Hind at London in 1847.
- n. An appearance resembling a rainbow; an appearance of the hues of a rainbow, as seen in sunlit spray, the spectrum of sunlight, etc.; any iridescence.
- n. A precious stone.
- n. In anatomy, a contraetile colored curtain suspended vertically in the aqueous humor of the eye, between the cornea and the lens, separating the anterior and posterior chambers, which intercommunicate through the pupil.
- n. In entomology, the first or inner ring of an ocellated spot, adjoining the pupil, being a light-colored circle with a dark center and outer border.
- n. [capitalized] [NL. (Linnæus).] A genus of monocotyledonous plants of the natural order Irideæ, tribe Moræeæ, having the perianth 6-parted, the 3 outer divisions spreading or reflexed, and the 3 inner smaller and erect.
- n. A plant of the genus Iris.
- n. The root of a species of iris cultivated in India and sold in the bazaars of Calcutta to be used, like the Florentine orris-root, in perfumery and medicine.
- n. The iridescence in fractured pieces of rock-crystal.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. plants with sword-shaped leaves and erect stalks bearing bright-colored flowers composed of three petals and three drooping sepals
- n. diaphragm consisting of thin overlapping plates that can be adjusted to change the diameter of a central opening
- n. muscular diaphragm that controls the size of the pupil which in turn controls the amount of light that enters the eye; it forms the colored portion of the eye
Middle English, iris (the plant), from Latin īris, īrid-, rainbow, iris (the plant), from Greek, rainbow, brightly-colored gemstone, iris of the eye.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Latin, from Ancient Greek ἶρις (iris, "rainbow"). (Wiktionary)