iris

Your iris is the colored part of your eye that surrounds the black pupil in the center. If your irises are brown, you can say you have brown eyes.

The job of the iris is to determine how large or small the pupil is, depending on the amount of light available. Your iris protects your eye's retina, by controlling how much light reaches it, and helps you to see. Another kind of iris is a bright flower with long, spiky leaves. Both irises take their names from the Greek iris, "rainbow."

Primary Meanings of iris

1.
n
muscular diaphragm that controls the size of the pupil which in turn controls the amount of light that enters the eye; it forms the colored portion of the eye
2.
n
plants with sword-shaped leaves and erect stalks bearing bright-colored flowers composed of three petals and three drooping sepals
Full Definitions of iris
1

n muscular diaphragm that controls the size of the pupil which in turn controls the amount of light that enters the eye; it forms the colored portion of the eye

Type of:
membrane, tissue layer
a pliable sheet of tissue that covers or lines or connects the organs or cells of animals or plants

n diaphragm consisting of thin overlapping plates that can be adjusted to change the diameter of a central opening

Synonyms:
iris diaphragm
Type of:
diaphragm, stop
a mechanical device in a camera that controls size of aperture of the lens
2

n plants with sword-shaped leaves and erect stalks bearing bright-colored flowers composed of three petals and three drooping sepals

Synonyms:
flag, fleur-de-lis, sword lily
Types:
show 19 types...
hide 19 types...
bearded iris
any of numerous wild or cultivated irises with hairlike structures on the falls (the drooping sepals)
beardless iris
any of numerous wild or cultivated irises having no hairs on the drooping sepals (the falls)
bulbous iris
any of various irises having a rootstock formed like a bulb
Iris cristata, dwarf iris
low-growing summer-flowering iris of northeastern United States
Iris foetidissima, gladdon, gladdon iris, roast beef plant, stinking gladwyn, stinking iris
iris with purple flowers and foul-smelling leaves; southern and western Europe and North Africa
Iris persica, Persian iris
bulbous iris native to Asia Minor cultivated for its pale lilac-colored flowers
Iris pseudacorus, yellow flag, yellow iris, yellow water flag
common yellow-flowered iris of Europe and North Africa, naturalized in United States and often cultivated
Iris verna, dwarf iris, vernal iris
low-growing spring-flowering American iris with bright blue-lilac flowers
Iris versicolor, blue flag
a common iris of the eastern United States having blue or blue-violet flowers; root formerly used medicinally
Iris virginica, southern blue flag
similar to blue flag; the eastern United States
English iris, Iris xiphioides
bulbous iris native to the Pyrenees; widely cultivated for its large delicate flowers in various colors except yellow
Dutch iris, Iris filifolia
bulbous Spanish iris with red-violet flowers
Florentine iris, Iris florentina, Iris germanica florentina, orris
German iris having large white flowers with lavender-tinged falls and a fragrant rhizome
German iris, Iris germanica
a large iris with purple or white flowers, native to central and southern Europe
Iris kaempferi, Japanese iris
iris native to Japan having large showy flowers
German iris, Iris kochii
iris of northern Italy having deep blue-purple flowers; similar to but smaller than Iris germanica
Dalmatian iris, Iris pallida
European iris having soft lilac-blue flowers
Dutch iris, Iris tingitana
bulbous Spanish iris having blue flowers
Iris xiphium, Spanish iris, xiphium iris
bulbous iris of western Mediterranean region having usually violet-purple flowers
Type of:
iridaceous plant
any bulbous plant of the family Iridaceae

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