Of or relating to Ireland or its people, language, or culture.
1. (used with a pl. verb)
a. The people of Ireland.
b. People of Irish ancestry.
a. The Goidelic language of Ireland. Also called Irish Gaelic.
b. See Irish English.
3. Informal Fieriness of temper or passion; high spirit.
[Middle English, from Old English Īras, the Irish; see peiə- 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.
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:
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.