Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To supply (dry land) with water by means of ditches, pipes, or streams; water artificially.
  • transitive v. To wash out (a body cavity or wound) with water or a medicated fluid.
  • transitive v. To make fertile or vital as if by watering.
  • intransitive v. To supply land with water artificially.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To supply farmland with water, by building ditches, pipes, etc.
  • v. To clean a wound with a fluid

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To water; to wet; to moisten with running or dropping water; to bedew.
  • transitive v. To water, as land, by causing a stream to flow upon, over, or through it, as in artificial channels.
  • transitive v. To rinse (a wound, infected area, etc.) with a flow or spray of a liquid.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pass a liquid over or through; moisten by a flow of water or other liquid.
  • Specifically—2. To water, as land, by causing a stream or streams to be distributed over it. See irrigation.

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

  • v. supply with a constant flow or sprinkling of some liquid, for the purpose of cooling, cleansing, or disinfecting
  • v. supply with water, as with channels or ditches or streams

Etymologies

Latin irrigāre, irrigāt- : in-, in; see in-2 + rigāre, to water.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin irrigare. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Today, one of the world's oldest settled areas, where men first learned to irrigate, is a man-made desert.

    Daimnation!: Later today, thousands of Canadians

  • These rivers irrigate the acacias, the bright green rice fields and other human endeavor.

    Al Huila « Unknowing

  • They don't have to irrigate in the valley of the moon, unless for alfalfa and such crops.

    CHAPTER XIV

  • By the way, same solution, just a little bit stronger, can be used to gargle throat and irrigate nostrils at the first signs of cold or flu.

    Treating Food/Water Poisoning in Mexico, or Any Other Place

  • The Babylonians were using wind to pump water to irrigate crops 4000 years ago.

    Earth's Next Generation

  • The State Council, China's highest administrative organ, issued a 10-point plan pledging small amounts of cash to irrigate wheat fields, plant wheat and corn sprouts, and treat crop disease, as well as a $180 million fund to buy equipment and more than $1 billion for drought-alleviation works.

    China Lifts Farm Subsidies

  • Mr. Gao is also worried about the $6.40 or so he needs to spend to power a diesel pump to irrigate each hectare.

    China Lifts Farm Subsidies

  • It pledged cash to irrigate wheat fields and to plant wheat and corn, as well as money to buy equipment.

    What's News

  • In the 1900s this might have been practical, but in the age of relatively cheap diesel fuel it is slightly easier to pump from a gas station than plant, fertilize, irrigate, spray insecticide, etc. a crop, for example cotton for the cottonseed oil.

    Greasy Rider (copy)

  • You put something on marginal land, don't irrigate it and you get a marginal crop.

    Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Air

Comments

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  • “When we landed here, it seemed natural to us to direct our lander to the shore of our bay, since we thought the water we saw was potable and might be used for irrigation.” – Gene Wolfe, On Blue’s Waters

    November 5, 2009