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1. Literally, to remove wrinkles from something, especially a piece of fabric, using a flatiron. Please iron out the crease in my slacks, I like them flat in the front.
2. By extension, to ease, solve, or remove minor difficulties, troubles, or problematic details (of or in something). Our latest software update is nearly finished—we just need to iron out a few things before it's ready for release. Your friends and family are a great source of support when you need to iron out the issues in your life. Bob and Janet are seeing a counselor to try to iron out the kinks in their marriage.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
iron something out
1. Lit. to use a flatiron to make cloth flat or smooth. I will iron the drapes out, so they will hang together. I ironed out the drapes.
2. . Fig. to ease a problem; to smooth out a problem. (Here problem is synonymous with wrinkle.) It's only a little problem. I can iron it out very quickly. We will iron out all these little matters first.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Work out, resolve, settle. For example, They managed to iron out all the problems with the new production process, or John and Mary finally ironed out their differences. This expression uses ironing wrinkled fabric as a metaphor for smoothing differences. [Mid-1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To remove some unevenness, such as a wrinkle or crease, from cloth by ironing: He ironed out the wrinkles from the shirt. She ironed the creases out.
2. To remove some obstacle or difficulty in the process of solving or compromising: The mediator ironed out the troubles between management and the union. The teacher ironed the kinks out of the overlapping test schedules.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.