The Plural of Iris: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

If you have ever needed to use the plural form of iris and wondered what it is, you have come to the right place. This article will teach you what iris is, the plural form of the word, the history and origin, synonyms, and examples of the word in context.

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

What Is the Definition of Iris?

The word iris is defined as:

  • The opaque contractile diaphragm perforated by the pupil of the eye and forming the pigmented or colored portion of the eye –  see EYE ILLUSTRATION
  •  IRIS DIAPHRAGM of the human eye
  • A similar device with a circular opening that can be varied in size
  • Plant of the genus Iris (Iris of the family Iridaceae, the iris family) of perennial herbaceous plants with linear usually basal leaves and large showy flowers
  • The Greek Iris is the goddess of the rainbow and a messenger of the gods

If you look in the mirror at your eyes you will see the part that gives your eyes their color- that is the iris of the eye. It is bigger than the size of the pupil and becomes smaller or larger to let more or less light in thanks to a contractile membrane located adjacent to the ciliary body. If you are in the sun, the iris shrinks down to not let as much light in, and if you are in a dark room the iris opens up more to adjust to a smaller amount of light. 

An iris flower which over 200 different species, but most people are only interested in the species with the biggest blooms. For centuries it has been a symbol of monarchs and royal families. 

What Is the Plural Form of Iris?

The plural is irises or you can even just use iris or irides. Some examples of the plural form used in some sentences are: 

Tall spring bloomers that stand on their own and that are easy to grow are agapanthus, alliums, blood lilies, and African irises.

They looked like normal people until you saw their eyes, completely black, no whites or irises.

Nathaniel drifted off, his green eyes glimmering and a spark of something unreadable flashed over the leaf-green irises.

In the undergrowth, you can see white anemones, while the marshes are punctuated by kingcups and irises.

Repeat-bloom irises and daylilies are available and will prolong June into fall.

Here the river is fabulous, clear, and convoluted, with ponds jammed with yellow flag irises where there are springs or oxbows.

The History and Origin of the Word

The word iris dates back to the 14th century as the name of the flower. In the 15th century, it was used to describe the part of the eye. It comes from the Greek word iris meaning rainbow and the PIE root wei which means to bend or twist. Iris was the name of the messenger of the Greek gods, a goddess, visibly represented by a rainbow. In 2100 B.C., King Minos names his palace Iris on the Greek island of Crete. It is also tied to the Latin iris. 

Synonyms of Iris

Examples of the Word in Context

  • Place a 5mm diameter beam of light in front of your 4mm pupil and the extra 1mm rim just bounces off your iris.

Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, “The Truth About Riflescope Brightness (And How to Pick the Best Hunting Scope for Low Light),” 7 Apr. 2020 

  • Other blooming perennials include the many selections of lantana, salvia, four-o-clock, esperanza, thyrallis, poinciana and iris.

 Calvin Finch,, “Calvin Finch: Deer-proof plant suggestions for your San Antonio garden,” 7 May 2020 

  • Also show me the subtlest curve of a smile, or a flash of exasperation or joy or anguish reflected in a giant, projected iris.

 Stephanie Zacharek, Time, “Of Course People Are Streaming Movies Right Now—That Doesn’t Mean It’s the New Normal,” 29 Apr. 2020 

  • Bearded and Siberian irises in purple and blue grow among the masses of peonies in Kris Jurik’s garden.

 Johanna Silver, Better Homes & Gardens, “More Than 1,000 Peonies Fill This Colorful Midwestern Garden,” 8 Apr. 2020 

  • Another fabulous grass, Eragrostis spectabilis, was paired with Iris prismatica, a native bog iris that isn’t much seen in commerce.

Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, “It’s time to plan the new season’s garden, and it pays to be picky,” 11 Mar. 2020 

  • Cuttlefish have camera-type eyes, which have a cornea, lens, iris and retina.

 Ryan Prior, CNN, “Scientists put 3D glasses on cuttlefish and showed them film clips. The results were surprising,” 9 Jan. 2020 

  • In the mountains, the iris are always first to bloom, the bracken ferns the last to poke through the forest floor, now imminent.

 Tom Stienstra,, “Hiking alone during coronavirus pandemic and shelter in place,” 12 Apr. 2020 


The English language can be a tricky thing since it is a compilation of many other languages. Finding the correct plural forms of words is an important step to becoming well educated. Now you are an expert on all things regarding iris.