Pronunciation Noun

iris (See Usage notes)

  1. (botany) A plant of the genus Iris, common in the northern hemisphere, and generally having attractive blooms (See pedia Iris (plant)).
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter V, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326 ↗:
      Breezes blowing from beds of iris quickened her breath with their perfume; she saw the tufted lilacs sway in the wind, and the streamers of mauve-tinted wistaria swinging, all a-glisten with golden bees; she saw a crimson cardinal winging through the foliage, and amorous tanagers flashing like scarlet flames athwart the pines.
  2. (anatomy) 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 (See pedia Iris (anatomy)).
  3. (photography, cinematography) A diaphragm used to regulate the size of a hole, especially as a way of controlling the amount of light reaching a lens.
  4. (poetic) A rainbow, or other colourful refraction of light.
  5. (electronics) A constricted opening in the path inside a waveguide, used to form a resonator.
  6. (zoology) The inner circle of an oscillated color spot.
Related terms

Translations Translations Translations Verb

iris (irises, present participle irising; past and past participle irised)

  1. (of an aperture, lens or door) To open or close in the manner of an iris.

Proper noun
  1. (Greek god) A messenger of the gods, and goddess of rainbows.
    • 1598 William Shakespeare: All's Well That Ends Well: Act I, Scene III :
      What's the matter, / That this distemper'd messenger of wet, / The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eye?
  2. A female given name; a flower name used since the end of the 19th century.
    • 1990 Joyce Carol Oates, Because It Is Bitter, And Because It Is My Heart, ISBN 0452265819 page 39:
      Persia tells Iris she is named for something special: the iris of the eye. "I thought I was named for a flower," Iris says, disappointed. "An iris is a flower, of course," Persia says, smiling, "but it's this other, too. Our secret. 'The iris of the eye'." "The eye?" Persia snaps her fingers in Iris's eyes. The gesture is so rude and unexpected, Iris will remember it all her life. After this disclosure, Iris doesn't know whether she likes her name any more.
  3. (astronomy) 7 Iris, a main belt asteroid.
Translations Translations
  1. plural form of IRI

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