itching [ich-ing] ExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for itching on adjective

  1. of, relating to, or characterized by an irritating sensation of the skin.
  2. of, relating to, or having a longing or desire to do or have something: An itching public anxiously awaits her announcement.
  3. characterized by restlessness or the desire for adventure or activity: an itching impulse to travel.
  4. characterized by the desire to grasp; grasping; an itching palm open for a bribe.


  1. itch.

Origin of itching before 1000; Middle English (y)ichinge, (y)itchinge (noun, adj.); replacing Old English giccende (adj.). See itch, -ing2, -ing1 Related formsitch·ing·ly, adverb itch [ich] verb (used without object)

  1. to have or feel a peculiar tingling or uneasy irritation of the skin that causes a desire to scratch the part affected: My nose itches.
  2. to cause such a feeling: This shirt itches.
  3. Informal. to scratch a part that itches.
  4. to have a desire to do or get something: to itch after fame.

verb (used with object)

  1. to cause to have an itch: His wool shirt always itches him.
  2. Informal. to scratch (a part that itches): to itch a mosquito bite.
  3. to annoy; vex; irritate: Her remarks itched me.


  1. the sensation of itching.
  2. an uneasy or restless desire or longing: an itch for excitement.
  3. a contagious disease caused by the itch mite, which burrows into the skin (usually preceded by the).

Compare mange, scabies. Origin of itch before 900; (v.) Middle English (y)icchen, Old English gicc(e)an; akin to German jucken, Dutch jeuken; (noun) Middle English (y)icche, Old English gicce, derivative of the v.Related formsan·ti-itch, adjective Related Words for itching ache, yearn, crave, thirst, hanker, prick, sting, prickle, tickle, irritate, titillate, crawl, creep, chafe, hunger, pant, sigh, burn, long, lust Examples from the Web for itching Contemporary Examples of itching

  • The Into the Woods director, it soon becomes clear, is itching to get something off his chest.

    Rob Marshall Defends ‘Into the Woods’

    Kevin Fallon

    December 9, 2014

  • It was like witnessing the last two weeks of the life of a blind and toothless dog you knew the vet was just itching to destroy.

    Dems, It’s Time to Dump Dixie

    Michael Tomasky

    December 8, 2014

  • Itching for the erotic details of Jess and Nick’s New Girl dalliance?

    50 Shades of Fall TV: New Girl, Scandal, and More Television Fan Fiction

    Amy Zimmerman

    October 16, 2013

  • And of course, as schools open up again across the country, many high schoolers are itching with misgivings of their own.

    Matthew Cordle & the Online Confession Obsession

    Anna Brand

    September 13, 2013

  • And then, after leaving the whole industry behind 15 years ago, finding himself now itching to get back into the biz again.

    ‘Free Willy’ Turns 20: Catching Up With Star Jason James Richter

    Kevin Fallon

    July 16, 2013

  • Historical Examples of itching

  • The boys, at least, had been itching for something like this ever since the trouble started.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • The news stimulated him, and in a little while he was itching to write again.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Since you have told me their plans I am itching to get at them.

    Astounding Stories of Super-Science September 1930


  • He was itching to talk about books and make the most of his romantic hour.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • I am itching all ofer with iteas, as if I were living in a bag of vleas.

    Despair’s Last Journey

    David Christie Murray

  • British Dictionary definitions for itching itch noun

    1. an irritation or tickling sensation of the skin causing a desire to scratch
    2. a restless desire
    3. any skin disorder, such as scabies, characterized by intense itching


    1. (intr) to feel or produce an irritating or tickling sensation
    2. (intr) to have a restless desire (to do something)
    3. not standard to scratch (the skin)
    4. itching palm a grasping nature; avarice
    5. have itchy feet to be restless; have a desire to travel

    Derived Formsitchy, adjectiveitchiness, nounWord Origin for itch Old English gīccean to itch, of Germanic origin Word Origin and History for itching itch n.

    Old English gicce, from giccan (v.) “to itch” (see itch (v.)). Sense of “restless desire” is first attested 1530s; itching in this sense is from mid-14c.

    itch v.

    Old English giccan “to itch,” from West Germanic *jukkjan (cf. Middle Dutch jöken “to itch,” Old High German jucchen, German jucken). Related: Itched; itching.

    itching in Medicine itch [ĭch] n.

    1. An irritating skin sensation causing a desire to scratch.
    2. Any of various skin disorders, such as scabies, marked by intense irritation and itching.


    1. To feel, have, or produce an itch.

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