itch

verb
\ ˈich How to pronounce itch (audio) \
itched; itching; itches

Definition of itch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to have an itch her arm itched
b : to produce an itchy sensation long underwear that itches
2 : to have a restless desire or hankering for something were itching to go outside

transitive verb

1 : to cause to itch
2 : vex, irritate

itch

noun

Definition of itch (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an uneasy irritating sensation in the upper surface of the skin usually held to result from mild stimulation of pain receptors
b : a skin disorder accompanied by such a sensation especially : a contagious eruption caused by a mite (Sarcoptes scabiei) that burrows in the skin and causes intense itching
2a : a restless usually constant often compulsive desire an itch to travel

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Other Words from itch

Noun

itchiness \ ˈi-​chē-​nəs How to pronounce itchiness (audio) \ noun
itchy \ ˈi-​chē How to pronounce itchy (audio) \ adjective

Examples of itch in a Sentence

Verb

His eyes began to burn and itch because of his allergies. This sweater makes me itch.

Noun

I had a slight itch on my back. Scratching only makes the itch worse. She's always had an itch for adventure. He has an itch to travel.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Applying an aloe extract cream several times daily might reduce redness, scaling, and itching inflammation due to mild to moderate psoriasis, the Mayo Clinic states. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The 5 Best Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel, According to Dermatologists," 8 July 2019 Republicans were the ones itching to do something — anything — to push back. Anna Staver, The Denver Post, "Colorado Republicans’ recall efforts get Democrats fired up," 6 July 2019 Without a doubt, summer weather has people itching to be outdoors exploring local parks, cooling down by the lake, and discovering new roads across the country. Selena Barrientos, House Beautiful, "7 People Can Sleep Comfortably in This Tricked-Out Camper Van," 2 July 2019 Those itching to watch other WSOP events can do so via CBS All Access and PokerGo. Sameer Rao, baltimoresun.com, "How the owner of a Baltimore sushi restaurant became a World Series of Poker contender," 28 June 2019 State attorneys general weren’t the only prosecutors itching to get in on the action. Christine Biederman, WIRED, "Inside Backpage.com’s Vicious Battle With the Feds," 18 June 2019 Another team developed a campus-to-town transport system, vital for co-eds itching to get away from the sugar-cane fields surrounding the university for something more lively. Aryn Baker/mauritius, Time, "‘It’s Time Africa Had Its Own Harvard.’ Inside a University Training African Leaders to Solve African Problems," 11 June 2019 But despite usually being down for anything in the name of style, Kendall has some pretty relatable reservations about a drastic hair change she’s been itching to try. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Is Thinking About Chopping Off Her Hair," 4 May 2019 More than half experienced itching while on the highest dose, leading 9 percent of that group to stop treatment. Riley Griffin, Bloomberg.com, "Intercept Tries to Outrun Pharma in Race for the Next Blockbuster," 10 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Doom Eternal Nothing excites me more than a delicious buffet of ludicrous gibs (yes, that’s a Rise of the Triad reference), and Doom always scratches that itch nicely. Brittany Vincent, Popular Mechanics, "The Best New Video Games We Can’t Wait to Play at E3 This Week," 10 June 2019 Joe got the White House itch in 1988 and really started to establish some momentum in the Democratic primary. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign and policy positions, explained," 26 June 2019 Fire ant stings can be treated by washing the affected area with soap and water, or using over-the-counter anti-itch or pain relieving creams, according to Healthline. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Florence floodwaters result in 'islands' of floating fire ants," 19 Sep. 2018 Some warning signs to look out for: persistent itch, trouble sleeping, or redness and inflammation with yellow crusting, as this could be a sign of infection. Talia Abbas, SELF, "11 Tips for How to Treat Eczema During the Winter," 7 Jan. 2019 So before the brand comes to its senses and bumps the prices back up, scoot over to Sephora.com to scratch that Natasha Denona palette itch. Alexis Rhiannon, Allure, "Natasha Denona's Highly Coveted Eye Shadow Palettes Are on Sale at Sephora Right Now," 23 May 2019 Ultimately, this wasn't about satisfying some travel itch, or even introducing Hailey to the family—though that was wonderful. Jordi Lippe-mcgraw, Condé Nast Traveler, "Maternity Moons Are Now a Thing," 28 Nov. 2018 With 2019 inching its way into the periphery, the early itch for a New Year, New Me makeover is a tangible one. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "9 Short Cuts That Make the Case for a Dramatic Holiday Hair Makeover," 30 Nov. 2018 Three days later, after regular use, my lips—for the first time in eight years—were chap-, scale-, and itch-free. Andrea Cheng, Glamour, "Tatcha's Jelly Mask Smooths Your Lips Like No Lip Balm Can," 28 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'itch.' 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 itch

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for itch

Verb

Middle English icchen, from Old English giccan; akin to Old High German jucchen to itch

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Learn More about itch

Dictionary Entries near itch

itas

Itasca, Lake

itauba

itch

itchily

itchweed

itchwood

Statistics for itch

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for itch

The first known use of itch was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for itch

itch

verb

English Language Learners Definition of itch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to have or produce an unpleasant feeling on your skin or inside your mouth, nose, etc. that makes you want to scratch
informal : to have a strong desire to do something or for something

itch

noun

English Language Learners Definition of itch (Entry 2 of 2)

: an uncomfortable or unpleasant feeling on your skin or inside your mouth, nose, etc., that makes you want to scratch
somewhat informal : a constant and strong desire for something or to do something

itch

verb
\ ˈich How to pronounce itch (audio) \
itched; itching

Kids Definition of itch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to have or produce an unpleasant feeling that causes a desire to scratch My nose itches.
2 : to have a strong desire The kids at my school are ALWAYS itching to see a fight.— Jeff Kinney, Wimpy Kid

itch

noun

Kids Definition of itch (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an unpleasant feeling that causes a desire to scratch
2 : a skin disorder in which an itch is present
3 : a restless usually constant desire an itch to travel

itch

noun
\ ˈich How to pronounce itch (audio) \

Medical Definition of itch

1 : an uneasy irritating sensation in the upper surface of the skin usually held to result from mild stimulation of pain receptors
2 : a skin disorder accompanied by an itch especially : a contagious eruption caused by an itch mite of the genus Sarcoptes (S. scabiei) that burrows in the skin and causes intense itching

Other Words from itch

itch verb
itchiness \ ˈich-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce itchiness (audio) \ noun
itchy \ -​ē How to pronounce itchy (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on itch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with itch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for itch

Spanish Central: Translation of itch

Nglish: Translation of itch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of itch for Arabic Speakers

Comments on itch

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