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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
Origin: L. Iris, iridis, the goddess, gr, the rainbow, iris of the eye, the plant iris. Cf. Orris.
1. The goddess of the rainbow, and swift-footed messenger of the gods.
2. The rainbow.
3. An appearance resembling the rainbow; a prismatic play of colours.
4. (Science: anatomy) The contractile membrane perforated by the pupil, and forming the coloured portion of the eye. See eye.
5. (Science: botany) a genus of plants having showy flowers and bulbous or tuberous roots, of which the flower-de-luce (fleur-de-lis), orris, and other species of flag are examples.