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From iron +‎ stone.


ironstone (countable and uncountable, plural ironstones)

  1. Any ore of iron which is impure through the admixture of silica or clay.
    • 1815, Mungo Park, Travels in the Interior of Africa, Vol. II, Cassell: 1893, Chapter XXI, [1]
      During my stay at Kamalia there was a smelting furnace at a short distance from the hut where I lodged, and the owner and his workmen made no secret about the manner of conducting the operation, and readily allowed me to examine the furnace, and assist them in breaking the ironstone.
    • 1924, D. H. Lawrence, The Boy in the Bush, New York: Viking, 1972, Chapter 3, p. 41,
      The trees like this barren ironstone formation. It's well they do, for nothing else does.
    • 1977, J. M. Coetzee, In the Heart of the Country, Penguin, 1982, p. 61,
      While I listen I sniff in the cordite fumes. Ironstone chipped against ironstone invokes a spark and a wisp of the same heady smoke.
  2. A type of vitreous pottery similar to stoneware
    • 2000, Donna J. Seifert, Elizabeth Barthold O'Brien and Joseph Balicki, "Mary Ann Hall's first-class house: the archaeology of a capital brothel" in Robert A. Schmidt and Barbara L. Voss (eds.), Archaeologies of Sexuality, London: Routledge, p. 120,
      More than 50 percent of the collection from Hall’s brothel is ironstone and porcelain. White ironstone tablewares became popular in the late 1850s, and the high percentage of this ware suggests attention to fashion.

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