from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An irritating skin sensation causing a desire to scratch.
  • n. Any of various skin disorders, such as scabies, marked by intense irritation and itching.
  • n. A restless desire or craving for something: an itch to travel.
  • intransitive v. To feel, have, or produce an itch.
  • intransitive v. To have a desire to scratch.
  • intransitive v. To have a persistent, restless craving.
  • transitive v. To cause to itch.
  • transitive v. To scratch (an itch).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sensation felt on an area of the skin that causes a person or animal to want to scratch.
  • n. A desire or want.
  • v. To feel itchy; to feel a need to be scratched.
  • v. To want or desire.
  • v. To cause to feel an itch.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An eruption of small, isolated, acuminated vesicles, produced by the entrance of a parasitic mite (the Sarcoptes scabei), and attended with itching. It is transmissible by contact.
  • n. Any itching eruption.
  • n. A sensation in the skin occasioned (or resembling that occasioned) by the itch eruption; -- called also scabies, psora, etc.
  • n. A constant irritating desire.
  • intransitive v. To have an uneasy sensation in the skin, which inclines the person to scratch the part affected.
  • intransitive v. To have a constant desire or teasing uneasiness; to long for.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To feel a peculiar irritation or tingling of the skin, producing an inclination to scratch the part so affected.
  • Hence To experience a provoking, teasing, or tingling desire to do or to get something.
  • n. A tingling sensation of irritation in the skin, produced by disease (see def. 2) or in any other way.
  • n. An inflammation of the human skin, caused by the presence of a minute mite, Sarcoptes scabiei (see itch-mite), presenting papules, vesicles, and pustules, and accompanied with great itching; scabies.
  • n. Hence An uneasy longing or propensity; a teasing or tingling desire: as, an itch for praise; an itch for scribbling.
  • n. See the qualifying words.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. have or perceive an itch
  • v. have a strong desire or urge to do something
  • v. cause to perceive an itch
  • n. a strong restless desire
  • n. an irritating cutaneous sensation that produces a desire to scratch
  • v. scrape or rub as if to relieve itching
  • n. a contagious skin infection caused by the itch mite; characterized by persistent itching and skin irritation


Middle English yicche, from Old English gicce, from giccan, to itch.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
The noun is from Middle English icche, ȝicche, from Old English ġiċċe, ġyċċe ("an itch"), from Proto-Germanic *jukjōn (“an itch”), of unknown origin. Cognate with Scots yeuk ("an itch, itchiness"), Dutch jeuk ("an itch"). (Wiktionary)


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