Definition of itch in English:

itch

Syllabification: itch

noun

[usually in singular]
  • 1An uncomfortable sensation on the skin that causes a desire to scratch.
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • Without them, we'd have a hard time scratching an itch or untying a knot.
    • I had full sensation - an absolute torment when you can't scratch an itch or move a cramped limb.
    Synonyms
    tingling, irritation, prickle, prickling, tickle, tickling, itchiness
  • 1.1 informal A restless or strong desire: [with infinitive]: the itch to write fiction
    More example sentences
    • Brig had a strong itch to be the first to teach her.
    • Seriously… I still have the itch to write a gossip/society column.
    • Personal relations have become restless, fretful, often disturbed by an itch for change and variety.
    Synonyms
  • 1.2 [usually with modifier] A skin disease or condition of which itching is a symptom.
    More example sentences
    • Neuropathic itch occurs with any disease along the afferent neuronal pathway.
    • Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include sneezing, nasal itch, rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction, postnasal drip, and sometimes pain.
    • Elimination of swimmer's itch means controlling the snails.
  • 1.3 (the itch) • informal Scabies.

verb

[no object] Back to top  
  • 1Be the site of or cause an itch: the bite itched like crazy
    More example sentences
    • They itch just like mosquito bites but without the big slow mosquito to squish.
    • The bite itched like the world, but I resisted the urge to scratch it.
    • Her head was itching like crazy and her hair felt lank and greasy.
    Synonyms
    tingle, prickle, tickle, be irritated, be itchy
  • 1.1(Of a person) experience an itch.
    More example sentences
    • Drinking more tea afterwards I realised I was itching all over, that's what happens when you crawl around in fibre glass insulated lofts.
    • 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.
  • 1.2 informal Feel a restless or strong desire to do something: [with infinitive]: your hands itch to take the wheel
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • It has strong European flavours and is itching to be taken seriously.
    Synonyms
    long, yearn, ache, burn, crave, hunger, thirst, be eager, be desperate; want, wish, desire, pine, fancy
    informal have a yen, be dying

Phrases

an itching palm

informal An avaricious nature.

Origin

Old English gycce (noun), gyccan (verb); related to Dutch jeuk (noun) and Dutch jeuken, German jucken (verb).

More definitions of itch

Definition of itch in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day grotesquerie
Pronunciation: grəʊˈtɛskəri
noun
grotesque quality or grotesque things collectively