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iron (usu. two syll.; one syll. in John IV. i. 120, IV. ii. 194, R3 V. iii. 111)
1. the metal of which arms and armour are made; hence (i) offensive weapons Ado V. i. 257, 1H6 IV. iii. 20; (ii) sword Tw.N. IV. i. 43, R3 V. iii. 111, Troil. II. iii. 18; (iii) armour 2H4 I. i. 150, Ant. IV. iv. 3.
2. used to symbolize hardness of heart MND. II. i. 196, 3H6 II. ii. 139, H8 III. ii. 425; hence as adj. =harsh, cruel, merciless John IV. i. 60 “this iron age,” 1H4 II. iii. 53 “iron wars,” Rom. IV. v. 127 “an iron wit” (punningly), Tim. III. iv. 85 “an iron heart.”
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hide References (7 total)
  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (7):
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 4.4
    • William Shakespeare, King John, 4.1
    • William Shakespeare, King John, 4.2
    • William Shakespeare, The First Part of Henry IV, 2.3
    • William Shakespeare, The First Part of Henry VI, 4.3
    • William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2.1
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Or what you will, 4.1
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