Definition of itch in English:

itch

noun

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

    • ‘Without them, we'd have a hard time scratching an itch or untying a knot.’
    • ‘He felt his wounds seal up, only leaving a slight itch.’
    • ‘The itch was relieved and I was able to continue with my activities.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After scratching an itch on his chest and rubbing his eyes he stumbled out of bed and straight into the nightstand.’
    • ‘Julliard scratched behind his ear, fidgeting more than relieving an itch.’
    • ‘He felt an itch in his back, aware that at any moment he could be dead.’
    • ‘He scratched an itch while walking into the kitchen.’
    • ‘Hayley blushed, smiling softly and looked away, scratching an itch on her shoulder.’
    • ‘Once you regain feeling in your hand and wrist, you will feel a slight itch and bump.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘By the next morning it'd cleared up enough to just leave me with an annoying itch in my throat.’
    • ‘I had full sensation - an absolute torment when you can't scratch an itch or move a cramped limb.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was like a man scratching an itch on the stump of a phantom limb.’
    • ‘Most home treatment is aimed at relieving the annoying itch of chickenpox and the accompanying fever and discomfort.’
    • ‘Just watching Owens go through his little celebrations makes my skin itch.’
    • ‘Lucas just followed me like an annoying itch that didn't go away.’
    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.’
      • ‘Dry skin, or winter itch, occurs when the top layer of your skin loses moisture.’
      • ‘Rhinitis is defined as two or more of the following symptoms: nasal blockage, sneezing, rhinorrhoea, and nasal itch.’
      • ‘Elimination of swimmer's itch means controlling the snails.’
      • ‘Neuropathic itch occurs with any disease along the afferent neuronal pathway.’
      • ‘Swimmer's itch is caused by a free-swimming parasite that burrows into and irritates the skin of humans.’
      • ‘I have sunburn itch - I clearly have the greater need.’
      • ‘Barber's itch, for example, is a bacterial infection that's aggravated by shaving.’
      • ‘Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include sneezing, nasal itch, rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction, postnasal drip, and sometimes pain.’
      • ‘Avoid swimming in areas where swimmer's itch is a known problem.’
      • ‘Have you encountered a large number of horses with dermatitis/sweet itch?’
      • ‘Last year, we both came down with the pine itch and she missed everything.’
      • ‘Babies with nappy rash itch, cry a lot and are generally miserable.’
      • ‘He's not eating properly and vomits bile, he has a constant body itch and is very short-tempered.’
    2. 1.2informal A restless or strong desire.
      with infinitive ‘the itch to write fiction’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Brig had a strong itch to be the first to teach her.’
      • ‘Flashman's itch to survive and to save his skin at all costs makes him a resolute and desperate character.’
      • ‘The collecting itch urged Smith further and further afield, helped along by Houston's oppressive summer weather.’
      • ‘Personal relations have become restless, fretful, often disturbed by an itch for change and variety.’
      • ‘For anyone on the lookout for a holiday-themed motion picture, this probably isn't going to scratch the itch.’
      • ‘As for me, just thinking of all this has given my feet a wandering itch…’
      • ‘This bill scratches a political itch - a desire to be seen to be publicly upholding someone's cultural values.’
      • ‘Seriously… I still have the itch to write a gossip/society column.’
      • ‘How do you satisfy the gardening itch in the middle of winter?’
      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’
    • ‘They itch just like mosquito bites but without the big slow mosquito to squish.’
    • ‘Her head was itching like crazy and her hair felt lank and greasy.’
    • ‘Two bites on my arm have come up and they itch like hell.’
    • ‘I suffer badly from allergies, and my eyes itch constantly.’
    • ‘The bite itched like the world, but I resisted the urge to scratch it.’
    • ‘"Her bottom's been itching all this week, especially at night.’
    • ‘When I got home my face started swelling and itching terribly.’
    • ‘My scalp itches and flakes and I shed big hunks of white skin.’
    • ‘Here I am tied up, beaten, my nose itches terribly.’
    • ‘They itched like crazy if you didn't cut them off.’
    • ‘A minor bite causes a bump that may itch for a few hours, then disappears over several days.’
    • ‘After a short time it begins to tickle, then to itch, and finally even make the neck a bit sore!’
    • ‘Her healing stomach itched and prickled with a stinging burn.’
    • ‘Doctors can find nothing wrong with the ear, but it itches like crazy.’
    • ‘The white infection is starting to fade away and the scabs are beginning to itch terribly.’
    • ‘Kevin couldn't stand it, his skin itched and his mind raced.’
    • ‘After completing your insulation, you may find that your skin itches from fiberglass irritation.’
    • ‘The wheals can itch, and they look like mosquito bites.’
    • ‘Mosquitos began to bite her skin and the bites itched terribly, though she dared not scratch them for fear of betraying her presence.’
    • ‘You come to work and at the end of your shift your skin itches.’
    tingle, be irritated, be itchy, sting, prickle, tickle
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) experience an itch.
      • ‘Suddenly I became aware of the fact I was itching all over.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2informal Feel a restless or strong desire to do something.
      with infinitive ‘your hands itch to take the wheel’
      • ‘It was as if it was beckoning me outside and I itched to join it.’
      • ‘Are you itching to try out some new moves but not sure where to start?’
      • ‘Britain is being forced to choose between America and Europe, and Blair is positively itching to take the test.’
      • ‘She'd taken several gardening classes, and she was itching to get started.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Williams is now itching for a chance of first team football with Palace.’
      • ‘Her hands had itched to run across his wide shoulders, down his chest.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His fingers itched to touch her in places he shouldn't even begin to think of.’
      • ‘Besides, I was itching to get out and test the stallion's motion.’
      • ‘It has strong European flavours and is itching to be taken seriously.’
      • ‘He was itching for a fight and she seemed ready to give him one.’
      • ‘He still itched to grab one of her daggers and turn the tables on her.’
      • ‘She was constantly itching for a new place, a new territory.’
      • ‘The dog who stands straight and doesn't circle is itching for a fight.’
      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

Phrases

  • an itching palm

Origin

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

Pronunciation

itch

/iCH//ɪtʃ/