Definition of itch in US English:

itch

noun

  • 1usually in singular An uncomfortable sensation on the skin that causes a desire to scratch.

    • ‘This means you want your finger nails to be so short that you couldn't scratch an itch with them.’
    • ‘I hate it when I have an itch I need someone else to scratch.’
    • ‘I had full sensation - an absolute torment when you can't scratch an itch or move a cramped limb.’
    • ‘He was like a man scratching an itch on the stump of a phantom limb.’
    • ‘The itch was relieved and I was able to continue with my activities.’
    • ‘But shortly after Ben began eating his lunch, his child-care provider noticed he seemed to be trying to scratch an itch in his mouth.’
    • ‘Without them, we'd have a hard time scratching an itch or untying a knot.’
    • ‘Once you regain feeling in your hand and wrist, you will feel a slight itch and bump.’
    • ‘He scratched an itch while walking into the kitchen.’
    • ‘Most home treatment is aimed at relieving the annoying itch of chickenpox and the accompanying fever and discomfort.’
    • ‘Lucas just followed me like an annoying itch that didn't go away.’
    • ‘After scratching an itch on his chest and rubbing his eyes he stumbled out of bed and straight into the nightstand.’
    • ‘By the next morning it'd cleared up enough to just leave me with an annoying itch in my throat.’
    • ‘He felt his wounds seal up, only leaving a slight itch.’
    • ‘Hayley blushed, smiling softly and looked away, scratching an itch on her shoulder.’
    • ‘Julliard scratched behind his ear, fidgeting more than relieving an itch.’
    • ‘Wash rubbed a finger of his right hand on his left cheek, then scratched an itch on his right hip, near the.38's holster.’
    • ‘He felt an itch in his back, aware that at any moment he could be dead.’
    • ‘Just watching Owens go through his little celebrations makes my skin itch.’
    tingling, irritation, itchiness, stinging, prickling, tickling
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    1. 1.1usually with modifier A skin disease or condition of which itching is a symptom.
      • ‘Swimmers' itch, also called cercarial dermatitis, is an itchy rash caused by certain parasites that normally live on waterfowl and freshwater snails.’
      • ‘Have you encountered a large number of horses with dermatitis/sweet itch?’
      • ‘Neuropathic itch occurs with any disease along the afferent neuronal pathway.’
      • ‘Elimination of swimmer's itch means controlling the snails.’
      • ‘Rhinitis is defined as two or more of the following symptoms: nasal blockage, sneezing, rhinorrhoea, and nasal itch.’
      • ‘I have sunburn itch - I clearly have the greater need.’
      • ‘Last year, we both came down with the pine itch and she missed everything.’
      • ‘Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include sneezing, nasal itch, rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction, postnasal drip, and sometimes pain.’
      • ‘He's not eating properly and vomits bile, he has a constant body itch and is very short-tempered.’
      • ‘Avoid swimming in areas where swimmer's itch is a known problem.’
      • ‘Swimmer's itch is caused by a free-swimming parasite that burrows into and irritates the skin of humans.’
      • ‘Barber's itch, for example, is a bacterial infection that's aggravated by shaving.’
      • ‘Dry skin, or winter itch, occurs when the top layer of your skin loses moisture.’
      • ‘Babies with nappy rash itch, cry a lot and are generally miserable.’
    2. 1.2informal A restless or strong desire.
      with infinitive ‘the itch to write fiction’
      • ‘As for me, just thinking of all this has given my feet a wandering itch…’
      • ‘Brig had a strong itch to be the first to teach her.’
      • ‘The collecting itch urged Smith further and further afield, helped along by Houston's oppressive summer weather.’
      • ‘For anyone on the lookout for a holiday-themed motion picture, this probably isn't going to scratch the itch.’
      • ‘Seriously… I still have the itch to write a gossip/society column.’
      • ‘Personal relations have become restless, fretful, often disturbed by an itch for change and variety.’
      • ‘We alone can be wracked with doubt, and we alone have been provoked by that epistemic itch to seek a remedy: better truth-seeking methods.’
      • ‘I had a burning itch that I should tell him about Aiden but the words couldn't come out.’
      • ‘This bill scratches a political itch - a desire to be seen to be publicly upholding someone's cultural values.’
      • ‘How do you satisfy the gardening itch in the middle of winter?’
      • ‘Often, late into a session, I'd get that uncontrollable opiate itch.’
      • ‘I had the sudden urge, a sudden itch, to pull the journal from my pack and read in the safety of my bath.’
      • ‘Flashman's itch to survive and to save his skin at all costs makes him a resolute and desperate character.’
      longing, yearning, pining, craving, ache, burning, hunger, thirst, urge, lust, hankering, need, eagerness, zeal, covetousness
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    3. 1.3the itchinformal Scabies.

verb

[no object]
  • 1Be the site of or cause an itch.

    ‘the bite itched like crazy’
    • ‘My scalp itches and flakes and I shed big hunks of white skin.’
    • ‘The white infection is starting to fade away and the scabs are beginning to itch terribly.’
    • ‘Here I am tied up, beaten, my nose itches terribly.’
    • ‘After a short time it begins to tickle, then to itch, and finally even make the neck a bit sore!’
    • ‘Mosquitos began to bite her skin and the bites itched terribly, though she dared not scratch them for fear of betraying her presence.’
    • ‘When I got home my face started swelling and itching terribly.’
    • ‘The wheals can itch, and they look like mosquito bites.’
    • ‘After completing your insulation, you may find that your skin itches from fiberglass irritation.’
    • ‘Doctors can find nothing wrong with the ear, but it itches like crazy.’
    • ‘Her healing stomach itched and prickled with a stinging burn.’
    • ‘They itched like crazy if you didn't cut them off.’
    • ‘Two bites on my arm have come up and they itch like hell.’
    • ‘Kevin couldn't stand it, his skin itched and his mind raced.’
    • ‘They itch just like mosquito bites but without the big slow mosquito to squish.’
    • ‘"Her bottom's been itching all this week, especially at night.’
    • ‘I suffer badly from allergies, and my eyes itch constantly.’
    • ‘A minor bite causes a bump that may itch for a few hours, then disappears over several days.’
    • ‘The bite itched like the world, but I resisted the urge to scratch it.’
    • ‘You come to work and at the end of your shift your skin itches.’
    • ‘Her head was itching like crazy and her hair felt lank and greasy.’
    tingle, be irritated, be itchy, sting, prickle, tickle
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) experience an itch.
      • ‘My teacher explained what it was all about and then left the room so I could show the doctor examples of where I'm itching.’
      • ‘When I started to itch from the bark I climbed down and set off towards the house.’
      • ‘Drinking more tea afterwards I realised I was itching all over, that's what happens when you crawl around in fibre glass insulated lofts.’
      • ‘Suddenly I became aware of the fact I was itching all over.’
    2. 1.2informal Feel a restless or strong desire to do something.
      with infinitive ‘your hands itch to take the wheel’
      • ‘Besides, I was itching to get out and test the stallion's motion.’
      • ‘But Royer was a bit restless and was itching to ratchet things up a notch.’
      • ‘Do you want to stay in the genre or are you itching to try something different?’
      • ‘He had his annoying smirk back in place and she itched to slap him.’
      • ‘Williams is now itching for a chance of first team football with Palace.’
      • ‘Are you itching to try out some new moves but not sure where to start?’
      • ‘The dog who stands straight and doesn't circle is itching for a fight.’
      • ‘Britain is being forced to choose between America and Europe, and Blair is positively itching to take the test.’
      • ‘He still itched to grab one of her daggers and turn the tables on her.’
      • ‘It was as if it was beckoning me outside and I itched to join it.’
      • ‘His fingers itched to touch her in places he shouldn't even begin to think of.’
      • ‘She'd taken several gardening classes, and she was itching to get started.’
      • ‘He was itching for a fight and she seemed ready to give him one.’
      • ‘She was constantly itching for a new place, a new territory.’
      • ‘Ben was positively itching to get his fingers on the keyboard, but Lia wisely didn't let him.’
      • ‘She banged loudly on the front door, her hand itching to slap something.’
      • ‘His fingers itched to touch it and he fought the urge by curling his hands into fists.’
      • ‘Her own fingers were itching to touch his whiskered jaw, her lips craved the taste of his.’
      • ‘Her hands had itched to run across his wide shoulders, down his chest.’
      • ‘It has strong European flavours and is itching to be taken seriously.’
      long, yearn, pine, ache, burn, hanker after, hanker for, hunger, thirst, lust, pant, hope, be eager, be desperate, be consumed with desire, be unable to wait, would give one's eye teeth, wish, have a fancy
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English gycce (noun), gyccan (verb), of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch jeuk (noun) and Dutch jeuken, German jucken (verb).

Pronunciation

itch

/ɪtʃ//iCH/