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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Irish \I"rish\, a. [AS. [imac]risc, fr. [imac]ras the Irish. Cf. Aryan, Erse.] Of or pertaining to Ireland or to its inhabitants; produced in Ireland. Irish elk. (Zo["o]l.) See under Elk. Irish moss.

  1. (Bot.) Carrageen.

  2. A preparation of the same made into a blanc mange.

    Irish poplin. See Poplin.

    Irish potato, the ordinary white potato, so called because it is a favorite article of food in Ireland.

    Irish reef, or Irishman's reef (Naut.), the head of a sail tied up.

    Irish stew, meat, potatoes, and onions, cut in small pieces and stewed.


Irish \I*rish"\, n. sing. & pl.

  1. pl. The natives or inhabitants of Ireland, esp. the Celtic natives or their descendants.

  2. The language of the Irish; also called Irish Gaelic or the Hiberno-Celtic.

  3. An old game resembling backgammon.

    get one's Irish up to become angry.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1200, Irisce, from stem of Old English Iras "inhabitant of Ireland," from Old Norse irar, ultimately from Old Irish Eriu (accusative Eirinn, Erinn) "Erin," which is from Old Celtic *Iveriu (accusative *Iverionem, ablative *Iverione), perhaps from PIE *pi-wer- "fertile," literally "fat," from root *peie- "to be fat, swell" (see fat (adj.)).\n

\nMeaning "temper, passion" is 1834, American English (first attested in writings of Davy Crockett), from the legendary pugnacity of Irish people. Irish-American is from 1832; Irish stew is attested from 1814; Irish coffee is from 1950. Wild Irish (late 14c.) originally were those not under English rule; Black Irish in reference to those of Mediterranean appearance is from 1888.


Irish may refer to :

  • Someone or something of, from, or related to:
    • Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe
    • Republic of Ireland, a sovereign state
    • Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Irish language, also known as Irish Gaelic, a Goidelic language spoken in Ireland
  • Irish people, people of Irish ethnicity, people born in Ireland and people who hold Irish citizenship
  • Irish whiskey, a beverage originating in Ireland
  • Irish (Junior Cert), a subject of the Junior Cycle examination in secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland
  • Irish (name), a given name or family name
  • Irish Creek (Kansas), a stream in Kansas
  • Irish Creek (South Dakota), a stream in South Dakota
Irish (Junior Cert)

Irish (Gaeilge) is a subject of the Junior Cycle examination in Secondary schools in Ireland. There are three levels: Higher (commonly known as Honours), Ordinary (commonly known as Pass) and Foundation (rarely taken, usually for very weak students).

Irish (name)

Irish is a given and surname.

Notable people bearing this name include:

  • As surname:
    • Carolyn Tanner Irish (born 1940), Episcopal Bishop
    • Frank Irish (1918–1997), English cricketer who played for Somerset and Devon
    • Frederick M. Irish (1870–1941), Arizona football coach 1896–1906
    • George Irish, Montserratian academic, professor of Caribbean studies
    • Jack Irish, protagonist in a series of novels by Peter Temple
    • Mark Irish (born 1981), English rugby player
    • Ned Irish (1905–1982), American basketball promoter
    • Ronald Irish (born 1913), Australian executive
    • William Irish, pseudonym of Cornell Woolrich (1903–1968), American writer
  • As given name:
    • Irish Bob Murphy
    • Irish McCalla
    • Irish Meusel
    • Irish McIlveen

Usage examples of "irish".

Unless America took action, and at once, Adams wrote, they faced the prospect of living like the Irish on potatoes and water.

Today Captain John Alcock from Britain and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown from the United States landed in a bog on the Irish coast at Clifden.

Sir Alured, when he was uttering this prayer, was thinking of what he had heard of in an Irish land bill, the details of which, however, had been altogether incomprehensible to him.

Hideous tales were told of these Irish, led by a left-handed Macdonald--savage as Amalekites, blind zealots of Rome, burning and slaughtering, and sparing neither sex nor age.

They are followed by the Right Honourable Joseph Hutchinson, lord mayor of Dublin, his lordship the lord mayor of Cork, their worships the mayors of Limerick, Galway, Sligo and Waterford, twentyeight Irish representative peers, sirdars, grandees and maharajahs bearing the cloth of estate, the Dublin Metropolitan Fire Brigade, the chapter of the saints of finance in their plutocratic order of precedence, the bishop of Down and Connor, His Eminence Michael cardinal Logue, archbishop of Armagh, primate of all Ireland, His Grace, the most reverend Dr William Alexander, archbishop of Armagh, primate of all Ireland, the chief rabbi, the presbyterian moderator, the heads of the baptist, anabaptist, methodist and Moravian chapels and the honorary secretary of the society of friends.

People of his class christened their children with English names, or at least anglicized the Irish.

The second wave of immigrants - southern Europeans, Asians, Irish and Latinos - encountered an entrenched dominant culture of mostly Anglo- and northern-European Protestants, and suffered accordingly.

He aimed it not at Greeley, who wanted slavery to end, but at antiwar Democrats, antiblack Irish Americans, governors of the border states, and the many Republicans who opposed emancipating the slaves.

Making toward the archepiscopal palace, the column could not manage any pace faster than a slow walk through streets thronged with foreignersScots, Irish, Burgundians, Germans from several parts of the Empire, Livonians, a scattering of Kalmyks or Tatars.

Aunt Agnes served a small Irish breakfast that would have felled a field hand: coarse Irish oatmeal and cream, eggs and Irish bacon, battercakes and sausage, and soda bread with butter and jam and quantities of strong hot tea.

Joyce, the Irish novelist, who worked miserably as a bank clerk in Rome in the 1900s, seems to have read Belli, whose vast sonnet-sequence, presenting realistically the demotic life of a great capital city, may be regarded as a kind of proto-Ulysses.

Sir William concluded with a very earnest appeal to Lord George Bentinck and his friends, who might at no very distant period have the government of Ireland entrusted to them, not, for the sake of a momentary postponement of the Corn Bill, to place themselves, by voting for this measure of coercion, in collision with the Irish nation.

Of the origin of this sign, Blackstrap gave us a very humorous anecdote: the house was formerly, it would appear, known by the sign of the Crown and Thistle, and was at that time the resort of the Irish Traders who visited Bath to dispose of their linens.

Fewer than fifty such discoveries had been made in Irish bogs, and they offered an unparalleled opportunity to gaze directly into the past.

Irish bogs also provided a wildlife habitat unique in all of Europe, and there was increasing pressure from the EU to consider the environmental consequences of turf-cutting.