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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Iris \I"ris\, n.; pl. E. Irises, L. Irides. [L. iris, iridis, the goddess, Gr. ?, ?, the rainbow, iris of the eye, the plant Iris. Cf. Orris.]

  1. (Class. Myth.) The goddess of the rainbow, and swift-footed messenger of the gods.

  2. The rainbow.
    --Sir T. Browne.

  3. An appearance resembling the rainbow; a prismatic play of colors.

  4. (Anat.) The contractile membrane perforated by the pupil, and forming the colored portion of the eye. See Eye.

  5. (Bot.) 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.

  6. (Her.) See Fleur-de-lis, 2.

  7. (Zo["o]l.) the inner circle of an oscillated color spot.

  8. same as iris diaphragm.


n. (plural of iris English) (gloss: part of the eye)


See iris

  1. n. plants with sword-shaped leaves and erect stalks bearing bright-colored flowers composed of three petals and three drooping sepals [syn: flag, fleur-de-lis, sword lily]

  2. muscular diaphragm that controls the size of the pupil; it forms the colored portion of the eye

  3. diaphragm consisting of thin overlapping plates that can be adjusted to change the diameter of a central opening [syn: iris diaphragm]

  4. [also: irides (pl)]

Usage examples of "irides".

Benson, Burnett, Demaux, Lawson, Morison, Reuling, Samelson, and others also report congenital deficiency of the irides in both eyes.

The other boy in the family had a total absence of irides, but he could see fairly well with the left eye.

I explained about the heterochromia irides, and tried to leave it at that, but she prodded and pushed until I spilled how hard it was to grow up so obviously different from anyone else.