Definition of irrigate in English:



  • 1 Supply water to (land or crops) to help growth, typically by means of channels.

    • ‘The water helps irrigate 14,000 hectares or 35,000 acres of cotton.’
    • ‘Plots were irrigated regularly and weeds were carefully controlled both manually and through herbicide treatment.’
    • ‘Fishing is unauthorized activity here, so is diverting water to irrigate fields.’
    • ‘Once the treatment cycle is complete, the water irrigates the farm crops.’
    • ‘Plants were irrigated regularly with tap water but were not fertilized.’
    • ‘Growers are responsible only for irrigating the crop, making it an attractive alternative for farms with adequate irrigation water.’
    • ‘Larger, more efficiently irrigated farms would be more productive and fiscally sound.’
    • ‘The house is filled with energy-saving devices, while the lawn and orchard are irrigated with recycled water.’
    • ‘In these areas, 37 tanks used for irrigating farmlands are at just 13 percent of capacity.’
    • ‘Less than half the region's 140,000 acres of farmland were irrigated.’
    • ‘During the experiment, these plants were irrigated by sprinklers to field capacity every two days.’
    • ‘For millennia farmers have had to stretch water resources to irrigate their crops.’
    • ‘Already, the Israeli rate of usage of water per acre for irrigating crops is just 30 percent of that used by US agriculture.’
    • ‘Plants were irrigated with deionized water and fertilized from day 15 onward.’
    • ‘As the Sunset approached El Paso, irrigated farmland appeared and soon we were in the suburbs.’
    • ‘While rainfall registers about 50 inches per year, growers often have to irrigate their crops during extended drought periods.’
    • ‘Irrigation before planting may work better than trying to irrigate the cover crop up.’
    • ‘Rebecca uses a sprinkler system to irrigate her crops.’
    • ‘The flow is diverted down the rows to irrigate their crops.’
    water, bring water to
    spray, soak, deluge, flood, inundate
    make fertile
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of a river or stream) supply (land) with water.
      • ‘The waters in these three rivers irrigate the plains of Punjab, which produce most of the wheat and paddy that Indians eat and, if any left, export.’
      • ‘The sun beats down, melting the glaciers that feed water into the streams, irrigating settlements and creating oases of willows and poplars.’
      • ‘The river irrigates the site and enables crops to be transported for trade.’
      • ‘Villagers present impressed upon the officers the need for quick repairs as the canal irrigated around 4900 hectares of land.’
      • ‘It has a small cultivable area to be irrigated by these rivers.’
    2. 1.2Medicine Apply a continuous flow of water or liquid medication to (an organ or wound)
      • ‘The surgeon copiously irrigates the wound with sterile saline solution and checks for leaks or bleeding.’
      • ‘If the physician was unable to completely visualize the tympanic membrane 15 minutes later, the ear was irrigated with 50 ml of tepid water.’
      • ‘The cavity is irrigated daily with mild antiseptic solution, and drainage from the tubes can be collected in a colostomy bag.’
      • ‘The surgeon thoroughly irrigated the wound with antibiotic irrigation.’
      • ‘For 8 days, the wound was irrigated with normal saline using a 35-cc syringe and a 19-gauge needle.’
      • ‘When the dressing is removed, the wound should be irrigated with normal saline to remove liquefied debris.’


Early 17th century: from Latin irrigat- moistened from the verb irrigare, from in- into + rigare moisten, wet.