- 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.
Origin of irrigate
Examples from the Web for irrigate
Treadle water pumps in Africa and Asia allowed women farmers to irrigate small plots and increase their harvests and incomes.Women | Tools | Technology: A Global Leapfrog, An ExxonMobil-sponsored Series
Daily Beast Promotions
March 2, 2011
The farmers in Egypt irrigate in the same way as the ryots of India.The Critic in the Orient
George Hamlin Fitch
In this way, step by step, we irrigate all that may be reached by a single gutter.Village Improvements and Farm Villages
George E. Waring
Each has a cabin in which the rancher lives while they irrigate and make hay.Letters on an Elk Hunt
Elinore Pruitt Stewart
He expects some time to pipe it down to town and irrigate a tract of land.The Cruise of a Schooner
Albert W. Harris
He knew his gift was to irrigate, as he said—to suggest and stimulate.Ruskin Relics
W. G. Collingwood
- 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
- (tr) to make fertile, fresh, or vital by or as if by watering
Word Origin and History for irrigate
"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.).
- To wash out a cavity or wound with a fluid.