Middle English Dictionary Entry

īren n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) Iron, as ore, metal, or commodity; of ~, made of iron or consisting of iron parts; (b) a piece of iron; things made of iron; (c) filinge (limature) of ~, iron filings; filth (rust) of ~, iron rust; scurf (sinder) of ~, the slag of iron separated from the ore during smelting, scoria; squame of ~, ?scales of iron rust; water of ~, ?a liquid preparation containing iron in some form; ?the water in which hot iron is quenched; (d) in sayings.
Alch. Iron as the metal of the planet Mars.
(a) A craftsman's tool or an agricultural implement made of iron or having iron parts; gravinge ~, grosing ~, paringe ~, plough ~, soudinge ~, turninge ~, q.v.; groupinge ~, see groupinge ger.; (b) a branding iron; also fig.; brenning ~, markinge ~, q.v.; (c) ?a stylus of iron for inscribing or engraving; a drill for boring holes; (d) the heated iron bar or blade used in trials by ordeal; hot (firi) ~; -- also coll.; (e) an iron hook, a nail, a spike; an iron fitting or bracket; coll. iron nails, clamps for fastening, etc.; also, spikes on an instrument of torture; (f) coll. iron bands for binding a chest, strengthening a door, wrapping an ax handle, etc.; iron bars for a window; (g) a die used in minting of coins; (h) one of a pair of iron grills for baking wafers and the like; a grill for roasting; baking irnes, houselinge irnes, oble irnes, rost (rostinge) ~, q.v.; (i) the metal part of any tool, gear, or machine; an iron collar as part of an instrument of torture; the bit of a bridle; bridel ~, miln ~, shovele ~, spade ~, q.v.
(a) A weapon or weapon head made of iron or steel; coll. weapons; ~ and stel, arms; ne (neither) ~ ne stel, no weapon whatsoever; with ~ and fir, with killing and burning, with complete devastation; (b) armor; a piece of armor; ~ and stel; ?also, an iron shirt worn for penance.
An iron chain; a prisoner's fetter; coll. shackles, chains; also fig. affliction, distress, anguish.
(a) A surgical instrument of iron; coll. surgical instruments; ?surgery; with ~, by surgery; blod ~ [see blod 1b. (d)]; (b) an instrument for cauterizing; that part of a cautery made of iron; hot ~, brenning ~, q.v.; also fig.
?As a precious stone; ?error for quirine.
Cpds. & combs.: (a) ~ brenner, ?one who works at smelting iron; ~ hat, a helmet of iron or steel; ~ heter, one who works the bellows or tends the furnace for smelting iron; ~ smith [OE īren-smiþ, īsen-], a blacksmith, an iron-worker; ~ squames, scales of iron rust; ~ ware, implements made of iron; iron parts of tools, vehicles, etc.; (b) ~ bounden, bound or reinforced with iron bands; ~ branded, of conscience: seared or branded, as by an iron; ~ grei [OE īserngrei], of the gray color of polished iron; also as name; ~ shod, of a pile or stake: tipped or shod with an iron band; ~ wrien, dressed in armor.
In surnames, place names, etc. [see Smith PNElem. 1.304].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500 Jul.Artist.Recipes (Jul D.8) 139/4 : Put hit ageyne inne þe pot or ellis inne a panne of irnee made for þe nonce, and set hit on a trevet over þe fire.
  • Note: New spelling (irnee).
  • a1500 Cmb.Ee.1.13 Dye Recipes (Cmb Ee.1.13) 107/20 : Take þe filing of erne, and þe sond of þe grinston, and do hem togyddyr in a vessel.
  • a1500 Cmb.Ee.1.13 Dye Recipes (Cmb Ee.1.13) 109/5 : Take a golon of veneger, and ʒ of aldyr rindis..and ʒ of limayle of ern, and do al þes in a pot togyder.
  • Note: Postdates sense 1a.(c). ?Modify sense to include limaille of ~ with filinge (limature) of ~.
  • a1500 Ashm.1393 Artist.Recipes (Ashm 1393) 163/23 : When þe poudur bygynyþ to come to þe mouþ remeue hit with a ʒerd..and þus do .ij. or .iij. with þy ʒerd, and þy ʒerd mote be of ʒre.
  • a1525 BodEMus.52 Artist.Recipes (BodEMus 52) 189/8 : Forto make a water to wrytte in yryne or stele or in ony other metall.
  • a1525 BodEMus.52 Artist.Recipes (BodEMus 52) 190/1 : Take a plate of yrynne and ley þy glase þerupon.
  • ?a1500 AS.81 Artist.Recipe (AS.81) 320/1 : Forto wrete apon hiyr or stele. Take a quantite of alem, brimestone, [etc.].
  • Note: Additional quots., sense 1a.(a). New spellings (ʒre, irine, irinne, & hiir).
  • a1500 Rwl.C.506 Artist.Recipes (Rwl C.506) 175/3 : Hange þy skyn in þe wynde, and whan it is drye tawe þe flesche syde yn a withe or yn a glouerse yre till it be softe.
  • Note: New compound under 2.: glovers ~: ?'a currier's stake used for softening leather'.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Med., etc., see further J.Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary, s.v. iron.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Med., etc. (sense 5.(b)), see further J.Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary, s.v. hot iron.