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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The signs and symptoms of DVT include discomfort, heaviness, pain, aching, throbbing, itching, or warmth in the legs and swelling. Sandy Bauers, Philly.com, "5 Questions: Lessons from the early death of Maroon 5 manager Jordan Feldstein," 6 Apr. 2018 Signs and symptoms of infusion reactions may include chills or shaking, shortness of breath or wheezing, itching or rash, flushing, dizziness, fever, or feeling like passing out. Dan Gartland, SI.com, "Potential No. 1 Draft Pick Luka Doncic Hits Ankle-Breaking Step-Back Buzzer-Beater," 30 Mar. 2018 These may cause additional symptoms like a strong vaginal odor, itching, and burning, but symptoms aren’t guaranteed. Korin Miller, SELF, "7 Colors Your Vaginal Discharge Can Be (and What They Might Mean)," 8 Feb. 2019 Low estrogen levels after menopause can lead to GSM, which comes with its own slew of bothersome symptoms, like vaginal dryness, itching, dyspareunia, urinary urgency and increased frequency, and urinary tract infections. Lindsay Carlton, Fox News, "Actress Cheryl Hines on the awkwardness of menopause," 28 Sep. 2018 Patients who eat red meat after being bitten report itching, swelling, hives and wheezing. Fernando Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Meat lovers beware: Bites from the Lone Star tick are on the rise," 25 June 2018 Bite victims may experience discomfort, chills, itching, nausea, fever and sweating, the site says. Michelle Ewing, ajc, "Brown recluse spiders: 4 things to know as the dangerous pests become more active," 20 June 2018 Some mosquitoes bites will only itch, while others can transmit fatal diseases. Tessa Weinberg, chicagotribune.com, "Let the swatting begin: Mosquito season kicks off after cool, wet spring," 25 May 2018 Students who had been reluctant to join a fight they’d been left to deal with on their own are now itching to be seen and heard. Helen Ubiñas, Philly.com, "Mark your calendars: June 11 we Fill the Steps Against Gun Violence | Helen Ubiñas," 27 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Many of the Polo Lounge’s diners are familiar enough to make my brain itch. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "Sarah Hyland Opens Up About Dialysis and Her Second Kidney Transplant," 10 Dec. 2018 And for those who need to scratch that fashion itch while looking at the pieces, there’s a MatchesFashion.com pop-up located on-site. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange Comes to New York City," 28 Sep. 2018 What better way to satisfy that back-to-school shopping itch than with a swath of brand new beauty products? Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty Sale for Fall Is Happening Soon, So Mark Your Calendars," 20 Aug. 2018 Overwhelming them can shut down the sensation of itch for a while. Houston Chronicle, "Vicks VapoRub for poison ivy itch," 8 July 2018 But lots of us get the same itch in winter: the need to get a sunny, tropical break from the snow and the gloom. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Meteorologist Created the Perfect Road Trip," 20 Aug. 2018 There’s even a pond right next to the home, if the ocean in front of you doesn’t quite scratch that aquatic itch. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "Breezy beach house on Cape Cod asks $1.48M," 1 Aug. 2018 Quinten, the youngest, graduated from Dartmouth last June, and Kent Payne, Elgin Community College’s director of athletics and wellness, felt the itch to get back on the sideline. Paul Johnson, Elgin Courier-News, "Back in the game: After 22-year layoff, Kent Payne takes over as Streamwood coach," 19 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about itch

Dictionary Entries near itch

itas

Itasca, Lake

itauba

itch

itchily

itchweed

itchwood

Statistics for itch

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for itch

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

WORD OF THE DAY

grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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