ir·​ri·​ga·​tion | \ ˌir-ə-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce irrigation (audio) \

Definition of irrigation

1 : the watering of land by artificial means to foster plant growth
2 : the therapeutic flushing of a body part with a stream of liquid

Examples of irrigation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Scott Springer,, "Harrison getting new turf fields courtesy of Bengals, NFL Grassroots Program," 16 Jan. 2020 Large air tankers of fire retardant were dropped inside the remote grove as part of the mission, while specialist firefighters attached to helicopters were winched down to set up an irrigation system to protect the trees from catching alight. Sara Spary, CNN, "Australia's prehistoric Wollemi pine trees saved from bushfires in secret government mission," 15 Jan. 2020 In 2019, over 250 archaeologists pooled their findings to show that humans have altered the planet for thousands of years, for example, with a 2,000-year-old irrigation system in China. Elizabeth Sawchuk, Smithsonian Magazine, "Archaeologists Are Unearthing the Stories of the Past Faster Than Ever Before," 27 Dec. 2019 Another example is Netafim, an Israeli subsidiary that is the world’s largest maker of precision drip irrigation systems, which conserve water by slowly directing water to a plant’s roots, reducing evaporation. John Engen, Quartz at Work, "How a global chemical company gave itself a corporate purpose makeover," 16 Dec. 2019 Improvements include irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Akron’s Hoban High School awarded grant via Cleveland Browns, NFL programs," 16 Dec. 2019 But irrigation districts threatened to pull out of the talks if Newsom signed SB 1. Los Angeles Times, "Trump is under fire in Washington. But he’s winning big in California," 7 Oct. 2019 An extensive rain harvesting system captures 100% of water runoff that’s stored in a 7,000-gallon underground cistern and used for outdoor irrigation and the indoor aquaponics system. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Central Tempe home near ASU with indoor garden and rooftop pool is LEED Platinum certified. Take a look," 26 Dec. 2019 Around 70 million people depend on the Mekong River for water, food, commerce, irrigation and transportation. Washington Post, "Mekong River’s new aquamarine color may be sign of trouble," 6 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'irrigation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of irrigation

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for irrigation

Time Traveler

The first known use of irrigation was in 1612

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Statistics for irrigation

Last Updated

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Irrigation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for irrigation


ir·​ri·​ga·​tion | \ ˌir-ə-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce irrigation (audio) \

Kids Definition of irrigation

: an act or process of supplying with water or cleaning with a flow of liquid

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More from Merriam-Webster on irrigation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with irrigation

Spanish Central: Translation of irrigation

Nglish: Translation of irrigation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of irrigation for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about irrigation

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