Definition of itch in US English:

itch

noun

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

    • ‘By the next morning it'd cleared up enough to just leave me with an annoying itch in my throat.’
    • ‘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 felt his wounds seal up, only leaving a slight itch.’
    • ‘After scratching an itch on his chest and rubbing his eyes he stumbled out of bed and straight into the nightstand.’
    • ‘He was like a man scratching an itch on the stump of a phantom limb.’
    • ‘Once you regain feeling in your hand and wrist, you will feel a slight itch and bump.’
    • ‘Without them, we'd have a hard time scratching an itch or untying a knot.’
    • ‘The itch was relieved and I was able to continue with my activities.’
    • ‘Julliard scratched behind his ear, fidgeting more than relieving an itch.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Just watching Owens go through his little celebrations makes my skin itch.’
    • ‘I had full sensation - an absolute torment when you can't scratch an itch or move a cramped limb.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Hayley blushed, smiling softly and looked away, scratching an itch on her shoulder.’
    • ‘He felt an itch in his back, aware that at any moment he could be dead.’
    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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Elimination of swimmer's itch means controlling the snails.’
      • ‘He's not eating properly and vomits bile, he has a constant body itch and is very short-tempered.’
      • ‘Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include sneezing, nasal itch, rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction, postnasal drip, and sometimes pain.’
      • ‘Swimmers' itch, also called cercarial dermatitis, is an itchy rash caused by certain parasites that normally live on waterfowl and freshwater snails.’
      • ‘Barber's itch, for example, is a bacterial infection that's aggravated by shaving.’
      • ‘Neuropathic itch occurs with any disease along the afferent neuronal pathway.’
      • ‘Have you encountered a large number of horses with dermatitis/sweet itch?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I have sunburn itch - I clearly have the greater need.’
    2. 1.2informal A restless or strong desire.
      with infinitive ‘the itch to write fiction’
      • ‘Seriously… I still have the itch to write a gossip/society column.’
      • ‘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…’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The collecting itch urged Smith further and further afield, helped along by Houston's oppressive summer weather.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Often, late into a session, I'd get that uncontrollable opiate itch.’
      • ‘How do you satisfy the gardening itch in the middle of winter?’
      • ‘This bill scratches a political itch - a desire to be seen to be publicly upholding someone's cultural values.’
      • ‘Personal relations have become restless, fretful, often disturbed by an itch for change and variety.’
      • ‘I had the sudden urge, a sudden itch, to pull the journal from my pack and read in the safety of my bath.’
      longing, yearning, pining, craving, ache, burning, hunger, thirst, urge, lust, hankering, need, eagerness, zeal, covetousness
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3the itchinformal Scabies.

verb

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

    ‘the bite itched like crazy’
    • ‘Her healing stomach itched and prickled with a stinging burn.’
    • ‘"Her bottom's been itching all this week, especially at night.’
    • ‘The wheals can itch, and they look like mosquito bites.’
    • ‘Kevin couldn't stand it, his skin itched and his mind raced.’
    • ‘They itched like crazy if you didn't cut them off.’
    • ‘The white infection is starting to fade away and the scabs are beginning to itch terribly.’
    • ‘I suffer badly from allergies, and my eyes itch constantly.’
    • ‘Mosquitos began to bite her skin and the bites itched terribly, though she dared not scratch them for fear of betraying her presence.’
    • ‘My scalp itches and flakes and I shed big hunks of white skin.’
    • ‘Her head was itching like crazy and her hair felt lank and greasy.’
    • ‘Here I am tied up, beaten, my nose itches terribly.’
    • ‘The bite itched like the world, but I resisted the urge to scratch it.’
    • ‘Doctors can find nothing wrong with the ear, but it itches like crazy.’
    • ‘After a short time it begins to tickle, then to itch, and finally even make the neck a bit sore!’
    • ‘After completing your insulation, you may find that your skin itches from fiberglass irritation.’
    • ‘When I got home my face started swelling and itching terribly.’
    • ‘You come to work and at the end of your shift your skin itches.’
    • ‘A minor bite causes a bump that may itch for a few hours, then disappears over several days.’
    • ‘They itch just like mosquito bites but without the big slow mosquito to squish.’
    • ‘Two bites on my arm have come up and they itch like hell.’
    tingle, be irritated, be itchy, sting, prickle, tickle
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) experience an itch.
      • ‘Drinking more tea afterwards I realised I was itching all over, that's what happens when you crawl around in fibre glass insulated lofts.’
      • ‘When I started to itch from the bark I climbed down and set off towards the house.’
      • ‘Suddenly I became aware of the fact I was itching all over.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘Williams is now itching for a chance of first team football with Palace.’
      • ‘She'd taken several gardening classes, and she was itching to get started.’
      • ‘But Royer was a bit restless and was itching to ratchet things up a notch.’
      • ‘Her own fingers were itching to touch his whiskered jaw, her lips craved the taste of his.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She was constantly itching for a new place, a new territory.’
      • ‘His fingers itched to touch her in places he shouldn't even begin to think of.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Besides, I was itching to get out and test the stallion's motion.’
      • ‘He was itching for a fight and she seemed ready to give him one.’
      • ‘It has strong European flavours and is itching to be taken seriously.’
      • ‘Are you itching to try out some new moves but not sure where to start?’
      • ‘Her hands had itched to run across his wide shoulders, down his chest.’
      • ‘His fingers itched to touch it and he fought the urge by curling his hands into fists.’
      • ‘She banged loudly on the front door, her hand itching to slap something.’
      • ‘Ben was positively itching to get his fingers on the keyboard, but Lia wisely didn't let him.’
      • ‘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.’
      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

/iCH//ɪtʃ/