Definition of itch in English:



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

    • ‘Julliard scratched behind his ear, fidgeting more than relieving an itch.’
    • ‘I had full sensation - an absolute torment when you can't scratch an itch or move a cramped limb.’
    • ‘By the next morning it'd cleared up enough to just leave me with an annoying itch in my throat.’
    • ‘He was like a man scratching an itch on the stump of a phantom limb.’
    • ‘He scratched an itch while walking into the kitchen.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This means you want your finger nails to be so short that you couldn't scratch an itch with them.’
    • ‘Once you regain feeling in your hand and wrist, you will feel a slight itch and bump.’
    • ‘I hate it when I have an itch I need someone else to scratch.’
    • ‘Hayley blushed, smiling softly and looked away, scratching an itch on her shoulder.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The itch was relieved and I was able to continue with my activities.’
    • ‘Lucas just followed me like an annoying itch that didn't go away.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Just watching Owens go through his little celebrations makes my skin itch.’
    • ‘Most home treatment is aimed at relieving the annoying itch of chickenpox and the accompanying fever and discomfort.’
    • ‘After scratching an itch on his chest and rubbing his eyes he stumbled out of bed and straight into the nightstand.’
    • ‘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. 1.1informal A restless or strong desire.
      [with infinitive] ‘the itch to write fiction’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This bill scratches a political itch - a desire to be seen to be publicly upholding someone's cultural values.’
      • ‘Brig had a strong itch to be the first to teach her.’
      • ‘How do you satisfy the gardening itch in the middle of winter?’
      • ‘Personal relations have become restless, fretful, often disturbed by an itch for change and variety.’
      • ‘As for me, just thinking of all this has given my feet a wandering itch…’
      • ‘Often, late into a session, I'd get that uncontrollable opiate itch.’
      • ‘For anyone on the lookout for a holiday-themed motion picture, this probably isn't going to scratch the itch.’
      • ‘The collecting itch urged Smith further and further afield, helped along by Houston's oppressive summer weather.’
      • ‘Seriously… I still have the itch to write a gossip/society column.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I had a burning itch that I should tell him about Aiden but the words couldn't come out.’
      longing, yearning, pining, craving, ache, burning, hunger, thirst, urge, lust, hankering, need, eagerness, zeal, covetousness
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    2. 1.2[usually with modifier]A skin disease or condition of which itching is a symptom.
      • ‘Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include sneezing, nasal itch, rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction, postnasal drip, and sometimes pain.’
      • ‘Swimmer's itch is caused by a free-swimming parasite that burrows into and irritates the skin of humans.’
      • ‘Rhinitis is defined as two or more of the following symptoms: nasal blockage, sneezing, rhinorrhoea, and nasal itch.’
      • ‘Avoid swimming in areas where swimmer's itch is a known problem.’
      • ‘Barber's itch, for example, is a bacterial infection that's aggravated by shaving.’
      • ‘I have sunburn itch - I clearly have the greater need.’
      • ‘Neuropathic itch occurs with any disease along the afferent neuronal pathway.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Elimination of swimmer's itch means controlling the snails.’
      • ‘Swimmers' itch, also called cercarial dermatitis, is an itchy rash caused by certain parasites that normally live on waterfowl and freshwater snails.’
      • ‘Last year, we both came down with the pine itch and she missed everything.’
      • ‘Dry skin, or winter itch, occurs when the top layer of your skin loses moisture.’
      • ‘Have you encountered a large number of horses with dermatitis/sweet itch?’
    3. 1.3informal Scabies.


  • 1 Be the site of or cause an itch.

    ‘the bite itched like crazy’
    • ‘Doctors can find nothing wrong with the ear, but it itches like crazy.’
    • ‘They itched like crazy if you didn't cut them off.’
    • ‘When I got home my face started swelling and itching terribly.’
    • ‘Her head was itching like crazy and her hair felt lank and greasy.’
    • ‘After completing your insulation, you may find that your skin itches from fiberglass irritation.’
    • ‘Two bites on my arm have come up and they itch like hell.’
    • ‘They itch just like mosquito bites but without the big slow mosquito to squish.’
    • ‘Her healing stomach itched and prickled with a stinging burn.’
    • ‘My scalp itches and flakes and I shed big hunks of white skin.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After a short time it begins to tickle, then to itch, and finally even make the neck a bit sore!’
    • ‘"Her bottom's been itching all this week, especially at night.’
    • ‘Kevin couldn't stand it, his skin itched and his mind raced.’
    • ‘The bite itched like the world, but I resisted the urge to scratch it.’
    • ‘A minor bite causes a bump that may itch for a few hours, then disappears over several days.’
    • ‘You come to work and at the end of your shift your skin itches.’
    • ‘Here I am tied up, beaten, my nose itches terribly.’
    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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2informal Feel a restless or strong desire to do something.
      [with infinitive] ‘your hands itch to take the wheel’
      • ‘He had his annoying smirk back in place and she itched to slap him.’
      • ‘Do you want to stay in the genre or are you itching to try something different?’
      • ‘She'd taken several gardening classes, and she was itching to get started.’
      • ‘Williams is now itching for a chance of first team football with Palace.’
      • ‘His fingers itched to touch it and he fought the urge by curling his hands into fists.’
      • ‘He was itching for a fight and she seemed ready to give him one.’
      • ‘His fingers itched to touch her in places he shouldn't even begin to think of.’
      • ‘The dog who stands straight and doesn't circle is itching for a fight.’
      • ‘Ben was positively itching to get his fingers on the keyboard, but Lia wisely didn't let him.’
      • ‘He still itched to grab one of her daggers and turn the tables on her.’
      • ‘She banged loudly on the front door, her hand itching to slap something.’
      • ‘Are you itching to try out some new moves but not sure where to start?’
      • ‘She was constantly itching for a new place, a new territory.’
      • ‘But Royer was a bit restless and was itching to ratchet things up a notch.’
      • ‘It was as if it was beckoning me outside and I itched to join it.’
      • ‘Britain is being forced to choose between America and Europe, and Blair is positively itching to take the test.’
      • ‘It has strong European flavours and is itching to be taken seriously.’
      • ‘Her hands had itched to run across his wide shoulders, down his chest.’
      • ‘Besides, I was itching to get out and test the stallion's motion.’
      • ‘Her own fingers were itching to touch his whiskered jaw, her lips craved the taste of his.’
      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
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Old English gycce (noun), gyccan (verb); related to Dutch jeuk (noun) and Dutch jeuken, German jucken (verb).