Definitions

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

  • adj. Of or relating to Ireland or its people, language, or culture.
  • n. The people of Ireland.
  • n. See Irish Gaelic.
  • n. See Irish English.
  • n. Informal Fieriness of temper or passion; high spirit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to Ireland or to its inhabitants; produced in Ireland.
  • n. The natives or inhabitants of Ireland, esp. the Celtic natives or their descendants.
  • n. The language of the Irish; also called Irish Gaelic or the Hiberno-Celtic.
  • n. An old game resembling backgammon.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. plural The inhabitants of Ireland.
  • n. The language of the native Celtic race in Ireland.
  • n. English as spoken by natives of Ireland, with characteristic peculiarities (the “Irish brogue”).
  • n. An old game similar to backgammon, but more complicated. Halliwell. Compare after game at Irish, under after-game.
  • n. Abbreviated Irish
  • Wrathful; choleric.

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

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

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English Īras, the Irish; see peiə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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")'. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • 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

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

    March 17, 2010