Definition of iron adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈaɪən//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈaɪərn//
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  • [only before noun] very strong and determined She was known as the ‘Iron Lady’. a man of iron will
  • Word OriginOld English īren, īsen, īsern, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch ijzer and German Eisen, and probably ultimately from Celtic.Idioms
    an iron fist/hand (in a velvet glove)
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    if you use the words an iron fist/hand when describing the way that somebody behaves, you mean that they treat people severely. This treatment may be hidden behind a kind appearance (the velvet glove). They promised that the army would strike with an iron fist at any resistance. The iron hand in the velvet glove approach seems to work best with this age group.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: iron