[ir-i-gey-shuh n]


the artificial application of water to land to assist in the production of crops.
Medicine/Medical. the flushing or washing out of anything with water or other liquid.
the state of being irrigated.

Origin of irrigation

First recorded in 1605–15, irrigation is from the Latin word irrigātiōn- (stem of irrigātiō). See irrigate, -ion
Related formsir·ri·ga·tion·al, adjectivenon·ir·ri·ga·tion, nouno·ver·ir·ri·ga·tion, nounpre·ir·ri·ga·tion, nounpre·ir·ri·ga·tion·al, adjectivepro·ir·ri·ga·tion, adjectivere·ir·ri·ga·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for irrigation

inundation, flooding, sprinkling, soaking

Examples from the Web for irrigation

Contemporary Examples of irrigation

Historical Examples of irrigation

  • There was water in it; it was part of their irrigation system.

    Two Thousand Miles Below

    Charles Willard Diffin

  • Irrigation there's just a question of power—that's how he looks at it.

    The Great Hunger

    Johan Bojer

  • Irrigation is the sole means of fertilizing, and it seems to be all the soil requires.

    Aztec Land

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • It will endure almost any amount of forcing, by liquid manures or irrigation.

  • The water for irrigation is costly, and should be made to go as far as possible.

    Agriculture for Beginners

    Charles William Burkett

Word Origin and History for irrigation

"a supplying of water to land," 1610s, from Latin irrigationem (nominative irrigatio) "a watering," noun of action from past participle stem of irrigare (see irrigate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

irrigation in Culture


Artificial provision of water to sustain growing plants.


Irrigation accounts for the greatest part of water usage in the western United States.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.