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

Farm equipment mechanics operate on industrial farm machines such as harvesters, irrigation systems and tractors. Emilia Benton, Houston Chronicle, "Heavy equipment mechanics have wide range of hiring opportunities," 7 July 2019 Four men were found dead Monday in an irrigation canal that diverts water from the Rio Grande to farmers in southern New Mexico and west Texas, according to El Paso police. Fox News, "Police: 4 found dead in waterway near US-Mexico border," 11 June 2019 The Idaho Department of Water Resources, Suez, the Boise Project Board of Control and various local irrigation districts are all part of the agreement. Nate Poppino, idahostatesman, "Will lawmakers come back to Boise this summer? Here's what Gov. Otter says," 21 June 2018 Disaster was averted when Mountain House purchased surplus water from a neighboring irrigation district. Ryan Sabalow, Dale Kasler And Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "They are building 11,000 new homes in Folsom. But will there be enough water?," 18 June 2018 The Mohave County Board of Supervisors has set aside $20,000 to draft a lawsuit against the irrigation district if a water transfer passes and bought 15 acres (6 hectares) of farmland there to establish legal standing. Felicia Fonseca, The Seattle Times, "Western Arizona eyed as water source for major metro areas," 21 Apr. 2018 Colorado River breaks through irrigation canal to form the Salton Sea. Merrie Monteagudo,, "History in headlines," 15 Apr. 2018 Some cannot afford inputs such as seed and fertiliser, let alone install irrigation systems. The Economist, "Filipino farmers are fighting—and dying—for land to till," 21 June 2019 Lubelfeld said, noting construction also should not disrupt the field’s irrigation system. Karen Berkowitz,, "New road drives up Elm Place Middle School transition costs," 13 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of irrigation

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about irrigation

Statistics for irrigation

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for irrigation

The first known use of irrigation was in 1612

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on irrigation

What made you want to look up irrigation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!