verb (used with object), ir·ri·gat·ed, ir·ri·gat·ing.

  1. to supply (land) with water by artificial means, as by diverting streams, flooding, or spraying.
  2. Medicine/Medical. to supply or wash (an orifice, wound, etc.) with a spray or a flow of some liquid.
  3. to moisten; wet.


  1. to supply (land) with water by means of artificial canals, ditches, etc, esp to promote the growth of food crops
  2. med to bathe or wash out a bodily part, cavity, or wound
  3. (tr) to make fertile, fresh, or vital by or as if by watering

v.“supply land with water,” 1610s, from Latin irrigatus, past participle of irrigare “lead water to, refresh, irrigate, flood,” from assimilated form of in- “into, in, on, upon” (see in- (2)) + rigare “to water, to moisten,” of uncertain origin, perhaps cognate with rain. Related: Irrigated; irrigating. In Middle English it was an adjective, “watered, flooded” (mid-15c.). v.

  1. To wash out a cavity or wound with a fluid.
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