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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Irrigation \Ir`ri*ga"tion\, n. [L. irrigatio: cf. F. irrigation.] The act or process of irrigating, or the state of being irrigated; especially, the operation of causing water to flow over lands, for nourishing plants.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"a supplying of water to land," 1610s, from Latin irrigationem (nominative irrigatio) "a watering," noun of action from past participle stem of irrigare (see irrigate).


n. The act or process of irrigating, or the state of being irrigated; especially, the operation of causing water to flow over lands, for nourishing plants.

  1. n. supplying dry land with water by means of ditches etc

  2. (medicine) cleaning a wound or body organ by flushing or washing out with water or a medicated solution


Irrigation is the method in which water is supplied to plants at regular intervals for agriculture. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall. Additionally, irrigation also has a few other uses in crop production, which include protecting plants against frost, suppressing weed growth in grain fields and preventing soil consolidation. In contrast, agriculture that relies only on direct rainfall is referred to as rain-fed or dry land farming.

Irrigation systems are also used for dust suppression, disposal of sewage, and in mining. Irrigation is often studied together with drainage, which is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from a given area.

Irrigation has been a central feature of agriculture for over 5,000 years and is the product of many cultures. Historically, it was the basis for economies and societies across the globe, from Asia to the Southwestern United States.

Irrigation (disambiguation)

Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the land or soil.

Irrigation may also refer to:

Usage examples of "irrigation".

Monday, May 18 0210 hours Coast road South of Amoy, China Murdock moved his troops into a dry irrigation ditch three feet deep that ran alongside the roadway.

The delta of the Rio Colorado has always been tricky for to navigate, and they tell me that lately, since your Anglo settlers have been drawing irrigation water from its tributaries, it has gotten worse.

They turned Archimedean screws to bring water from the Margush into the irrigation canals.

For three successive years he spent considerable money and effort, producing nothing except the hard-won conclusion that without irrigation his benchlands were useless, except to grow native grass for the grazing of cattle.

Once students and professors crowded the rooms and hallways of this fortress, studying modern irrigation and biotechnical crop engineering.

With her practical eye, Sister Hilaria observed the tillable acreage along the Yucca River and the river itself, which could be partially diverted for irrigation.

The Mogollon of the eastern region, the Anasazi of the northeastern highlands, and the Hohokam of southern Arizona, who had been able to raise crops in a barren desert because of the irrigation ditches they had scraped out with stones and shells.

In irrigation, especially in nonporous soils, the surfactant aids soil penetration.

It sounded dreadfully like the Alujis river rights business again, two upstream provinces against three downstream which relied on its water for irrigation.

Between us and the buildings, which suggested a small walled city, the clearing contained a few scattered trees, but most of the ground was given over to cultivation, being traversed by irrigation ditches of an archaic type which has been abandoned upon the surface for many ages, having been superseded by a system of subirrigation when the diminishing water supply necessitated the adoption of conservation measures.

In Tulare County, California, as much as 6 to 10 tons have been secured under irrigation.

They built aqueducts for purposes of irrigation some of which were five hundred miles long.

New associations for protecting the land from inundations, for irrigation purposes, and for maintaining canals are continually formed, and the unanimity of all peasants of a neighbourhood, which is required by law, is no obstacle.

Company advertise themselves as brokers and dealers in high-class Western securities, and they offer stock in that Sunset Irrigation Company.

At about this same time too, frogs reappeared in the irrigation ditches, and folks once more heard them singing at night, obviously because the old sheepherder had become so busy stitching miniature clodhoppers for the Sainted Child and otherwise trying to bring back Pendejo that he no longer had time for his nocturnal canine patrol of the waterways.