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.
3. A restless desire or craving for something: an itch to travel.
v. itched, itch·ing, itch·es
a. To feel, have, or produce an itch.
b. To have a desire to scratch.
2. To have a persistent, restless craving.
1. To cause to itch.
2. To scratch (an itch).
[Middle English yicche, from Old English gicce, from giccan, to itch; akin to Dutch jeuken, German jucken, and Old Saxon jukkian.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.