—n. 1. Anat.the contractile, circular diaphragm forming the colored portion of the eye and containing a circular opening, the pupil, in its center. See diag. under eye. 2. Bot.any plant of the genus Iris, having showy flowers and sword-shaped leaves. Cf. iris family. 3. a flower of this plant.
4. (cap.) Class. Myth.a messenger of the gods, regarded as the goddess of the rainbow.
5. a rainbow.
6. any appearance resembling a rainbow.
7. Motion Pictures,Television.an iris-in or iris-out.
8. Optics,Photog.See iris diaphragm.
—v.i. Motion Pictures.to begin or end a take or scene with an iris-in or iris-out, achieved by manipulation of an iris diaphragm on the camera or by editing the film.
Pronunciation: (ī'ris),[key] —n. a female given name.