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

Definition of irrigation

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

Examples of irrigation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Out here, farmers in sarongs work in tiered rice paddies, whose packed-earth Subak system of irrigation is UNESCO protected. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Finding the Bali You Came For," 16 Nov. 2018 It can be used for outdoor irrigation and cleaning, according to the Nano Membrane website. Ryan D'agostino, Popular Mechanics, "How Does Bill Gates's Ingenious, Waterless, Life-Saving Toilet Work?," 6 Nov. 2018 Its vast network of canals, moats, embankments, and reservoirs developed over the next 600 years, helping distribute vital water resources for such uses as irrigation and to help control occasional flooding. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Collapse of ancient city’s water system may have led to its demise," 20 Oct. 2018 Thanks to some Pacific cold fronts and late summer monsoons, just enough rain bursts come through the region each year, providing the right amount of irrigation for grapes to grow. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "Beyond Napa: 7 Emerging American Wine Regions to Visit Now," 29 Aug. 2018 Runoff wastes valuable irrigation and rainwater and can wash fertilizers, pesticides and soil downstream, which can harm fish and other wildlife. Dawn Standke,, "Tally up your garden’s earth friendliness," 12 July 2018 That proposal, currently in review, would allow irrigators to pay for and build infrastructure on federal land to draw additional irrigation water in dry years. Evan Bush, The Seattle Times, "Here’s what the massive public-lands bill means for conservation, climate change in Washington state," 12 Feb. 2019 There were potholes and rattlesnakes to mind, as well as irrigation ditches. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "I Ditched My Phone for a Montana Cattle Drive (and Finally Dealt With My Feelings)," 3 Oct. 2018 Program funding is limited, and participants must comply with requirements that include a simple landscape plan, plant coverage, mulch, rainwater capture and irrigation technology. Pomerado News, "Water agencies increase incentives to replace turf," 13 July 2018

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 1

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Statistics for irrigation

Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for irrigation

The first known use of irrigation was in 1612

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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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