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An adjustable diaphragm, suggesting the iris of the eye in its action, for regulating the aperture of a lens, consisting of a number of thin pieces fastened to a ring. It is used in cameras and microscopes.
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Webster, Noah. Entry for 'Iris Diaphragm'. Noah Webster's American Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/web/i/iris-diaphragm.html. 1828.