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A usually rod-shaped metal implement with a pointed or wedge-shaped tip, used in soldering metallic parts.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Tools) a hand tool consisting of a handle fixed to a copper tip that is heated, electrically or in a flame, and used to melt and apply solder
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
an instrument for melting and applying solder.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
In the early part of the twentieth century, soldering irons were solid copper blocks three or so inches long with cross sections of about a square inch and having an iron rod extending out from it about eight inches. The rod was pointed so that a wooden handle could be driven onto it. The soldering iron was heated by putting it in a fire. It was taken out of the fire for soldering, and as soon as it cooled to the point that solder could no longer be melted, it had to be reheated.
1001 Words and Phrases You Never Knew You Didn’t Know by W.R. Runyan Copyright © 2011 by W.R. Runyan