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I·ris (īrĭs)
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n.
Greek Mythology
The goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the gods.

[Latin Īris, from Greek, from īris, rainbow; see wei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
i·ris (īrĭs)
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n. pl. i·ris·es or i·ri·des (īrĭ-dēz, ĭrĭ-)
1. The pigmented, round, contractile membrane of the eye, suspended between the cornea and lens and perforated by the pupil. It regulates the amount of light entering the eye.
2. Any of numerous widely cultivated plants of the genus Iris, having narrow sword-shaped leaves and showy, variously colored flowers.
3. A rainbow or rainbowlike display of colors.
4. An iris diaphragm.

[Middle English, iris (the plant), from Latin īris, īrid-, rainbow, iris (the plant), from Greek, rainbow, brightly-colored gemstone, iris of the eye; see wei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)
iris
Iris × robusta

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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