• synonyms


verb (used with object), ir·ri·gat·ed, ir·ri·gat·ing.
  1. to supply (land) with water by artificial means, as by diverting streams, flooding, or spraying.
  2. Medicine/Medical. to supply or wash (an orifice, wound, etc.) with a spray or a flow of some liquid.
  3. to moisten; wet.
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Origin of irrigate

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 formsir·ri·ga·tor, nounnon·ir·ri·gat·ed, adjectivenon·ir·ri·gat·ing, adjectiveo·ver·ir·ri·gate, verb (used with object), o·ver·ir·ri·gat·ed, o·ver·ir·ri·gat·ing.re·ir·ri·gate, verb (used with object), re·ir·ri·gat·ed, re·ir·ri·gat·ing.un·ir·ri·gat·ed, adjectivewell-ir·ri·gat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unirrigated

Historical Examples of unirrigated

  • Millet crops are grown for the most part on unirrigated land.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 14, Slice 4


  • Unirrigated land for vegetable growing is something over £9:12s., and forest £2:11s.

  • There are eighty acres; forty of them are hilly, unirrigated lands, while five acres are still in sage-brush.

    The American Country Girl

    Martha Foote Crow

  • There are unirrigated deserts where women wear out their lives in despairing labor.

    The American Country Girl

    Martha Foote Crow

  • A vast portion of the country still remains unforested, uncultivated, unirrigated, and above all uneducated.


    Horace Barnett Samuel

British Dictionary definitions for unirrigated


  1. to supply (land) with water by means of artificial canals, ditches, etc, esp to promote the growth of food crops
  2. med to bathe or wash out a bodily part, cavity, or wound
  3. (tr) to make fertile, fresh, or vital by or as if by watering
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Derived Formsirrigable, adjectiveirrigation, nounirrigational or irrigative, adjectiveirrigator, noun

Word Origin for irrigate

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

Word Origin and History for unirrigated



"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.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unirrigated in Medicine


  1. To wash out a cavity or wound with a fluid.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.