There are 2 definitions of Iris in English:


Line breaks: Iris
Pronunciation: /ˈʌɪrɪs
Greek Mythology
  • The goddess of the rainbow, who acted as a messenger of the gods.

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Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kərf
a slit made by cutting with a saw

There are 2 definitions of Iris in English:


Line breaks: iris
Pronunciation: /ˈʌɪrɪs


  • 1A flat, coloured, ring-shaped membrane behind the cornea of the eye, with an adjustable circular opening (pupil) in the centre.
    More example sentences
    • The thin sheet of circular muscle of the iris which constricts the pupil of the eye is also known as a sphincter.
    • The walking wounded were often blind, their pupils, irises, and corneas burned out.
    • The colored circular membrane in the eye just behind the cornea is called the iris.
  • 1.1 (also iris diaphragm) An adjustable diaphragm of thin overlapping plates for regulating the size of a central hole, especially for the admission of light to a lens.
    More example sentences
    • The incorporation of a variable iris diaphragm into the optical couplers allows the power of the beams to be independently set.
    • In experiments to find the effect of lens diameter he invented the familiar iris diaphragm.
    • This is the job of the iris diaphragm, a series of overlapping metal plates that can fold in on each other or expand out.
  • 2A plant with showy flowers, typically of purple or yellow, and sword-shaped leaves. Irises are native to both Eurasia and North America and widely cultivated as ornamentals.
    • Genus Iris, family Iridaceae (the iris family): many species and numerous hybrids. The iris family also includes the gladioli, crocuses, and freesias
    More example sentences
    • The newspaperman had a love for a myriad of different flower species and soon divided his interests between roses, irises, lilacs and native California plants.
    • It spreads by underground fleshy stems called rhizomes; rhizomes are found on many plants, from irises to agapanthus, from ferns to Bermuda grass.
    • Daffodils, iris, tulips, gladiolus, hyacinth, and daylilies are just some of the many bulb favorites.


[no object, with adverbial of direction] Back to top  
  • (Of an aperture, typically that of a lens) open or close in the manner of an iris or iris diaphragm.
    More example sentences
    • Ann tugged at his arm and pointed down to the hull's underbelly: a round opening had irised out in it, brightly lit from inside.
    • A swirling vortex of yellow and white light irised open from a small dot to a man-sized portal just above the deck in front of Illeen.
    • As the last scene irised out to the familiar credits I was actually happy to have it all over.


modern Latin, via Latin from Greek iris 'rainbow, iris'.

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