What is iron?

  • (noun): Home appliance consisting of a flat metal base that is heated and used to smooth cloth.
    Synonyms: smoothing iron
    See also — Additional definitions below


Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe (from Latin: ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element (by mass) forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust. Iron's very common presence in rocky planets like Earth is due to its abundant production as a result of fusion in high-mass stars, where the production of nickel-56 (which decays to the most common isotope of iron) is the last nuclear fusion reaction that is exothermic. This causes radioactive nickel to become the last element to be produced before collapse of a supernova leads to the explosive events that scatter this precursor radionuclide of iron abundantly into space.

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Some articles on iron:

Iron - Precautions
... NFPA 1 ... Fire diamond for powdered iron metal Large amounts of ingested iron can cause excessive levels of iron in the blood ... High blood levels of free ferrous iron react with peroxides to produce free radicals, which are highly reactive and can damage DNA, proteins, lipids, and other cellular components ... Thus, iron toxicity occurs when there is free iron in the cell, which generally occurs when iron levels exceed the capacity of transferrin to bind the iron ...

More definitions of "iron":

  • (noun): A heavy ductile magnetic metallic element; is silver-white in pure form but readily rusts; used in construction and tools and armament; plays a role in the transport of oxygen by the blood.
    Synonyms: Fe, atomic number 26
  • (noun): A golf club that has a relatively narrow metal head.
  • (verb): Press and smooth with a heated iron.
    Synonyms: iron out
  • (adj): Extremely robust.
    Example: "An iron constitution"
    Synonyms: cast-iron
  • (noun): Implement used to brand live stock.
    Synonyms: branding iron

Famous quotes containing the word iron:

    When Sheba was his lass,
    When she the iron wrought, or
    When from the smithy fire
    It shuddered in the water:
    Harshness of their desire
    That made them stretch and yawn....
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

    Write while the heat is in you.... The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    Industrial man—a sentient reciprocating engine having a fluctuating output, coupled to an iron wheel revolving with uniform velocity. And then we wonder why this should be the golden age of revolution and mental derangement.
    Aldous Huxley (1894–1963)