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[ir-i-geyt] /ˈɪr ɪˌgeɪt/
verb (used with object), irrigated, irrigating.
to supply (land) with water by artificial means, as by diverting streams, flooding, or spraying.
Medicine/Medical. to supply or wash (an orifice, wound, etc.) with a spray or a flow of some liquid.
to moisten; wet.
1605-15; < Latin irrigātus, past participle of irrigāre to wet, flood, nourish with water, equivalent to ir- ir-1 + rigā- (stem of rigāre to provide with water, soak) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
irrigator, noun
nonirrigated, adjective
nonirrigating, adjective
overirrigate, verb (used with object), overirrigated, overirrigating.
reirrigate, verb (used with object), reirrigated, reirrigating.
unirrigated, adjective
well-irrigated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for irrigated
  • Soon severe heat waves will routinely destroy non-irrigated crops.
  • They can then be irrigated together, and no plant will receive too much or too little water.
  • In arid regions, it makes a great groundcover for areas of the garden that won't be planted and irrigated.
  • During the twentieth century, the amount of irrigated land in the world doubled.
  • Rising annually, the river irrigated and fertilized crops.
  • Describe the cliff dwellings where they lived and how they farmed and irrigated their lands.
  • About one-third of all of the world's food is grown on irrigated croplands.
  • Fruits and vegetables can pick up the pathogens if washed or irrigated with water contaminated with manure or human sewage.
  • Before the war immigrant workers in this irrigated oasis had raised an abundance of vegetables and fruits, chickens and eggs.
  • The garden will be irrigated from a cistern that collects rainwater and condensation.
British Dictionary definitions for irrigated


to supply (land) with water by means of artificial canals, ditches, etc, esp to promote the growth of food crops
(med) to bathe or wash out a bodily part, cavity, or wound
(transitive) to make fertile, fresh, or vital by or as if by watering
Derived Forms
irrigable, adjective
irrigation, noun
irrigational, irrigative, adjective
irrigator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin irrigāre, from rigāre to moisten, conduct water
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for irrigated



"supply land with water," 1610s, from Latin irrigatus, past participle of irrigare "lead water to, refresh, irrigate, flood," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + rigare "to water, to moisten," of uncertain origin, perhaps cognate with rain. Related: Irrigated; irrigating. In Middle English it was an adjective, "watered, flooded" (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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irrigated in Medicine

irrigate ir·ri·gate (ĭr'ĭ-gāt')
v. ir·ri·gat·ed, ir·ri·gat·ing, ir·ri·gates
To wash out a cavity or wound with a fluid.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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