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."

Definitions of iris
  1. noun
    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
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    type of:
    membrane, tissue layer
    a pliable sheet of tissue that covers or lines or connects the organs or cells of animals or plants
  2. noun
    diaphragm consisting of thin overlapping plates that can be adjusted to change the diameter of a central opening
    synonyms: iris diaphragm
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    type of:
    diaphragm, stop
    a mechanical device in a camera that controls size of aperture of the lens
  3. noun
    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
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    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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