Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

delve

[delv] /dɛlv/
verb (used without object), delved, delving.
1.
to carry on intensive and thorough research for data, information, or the like; investigate:
to delve into the issue of prison reform.
2.
Archaic. to dig, as with a spade.
verb (used with object), delved, delving.
3.
Archaic. to dig; excavate.
Origin of delve
900
before 900; Middle English delven, Old English delfan; cognate with Dutch delven, Old High German telban
Related forms
delver, noun
undelved, adjective
Synonyms
1. research, inquire, probe, examine, explore.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for delving
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Don't let her kid you, Barry," advised Cousin Jim, delving into his lobster.

    The Innocent Adventuress Mary Hastings Bradley
  • Spent all day plowing the low meadow, Peter delving potatoes.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • There, too, in the dim background, a weird shape is ever delving.

    The Biglow Papers James Russell Lowell
  • We were not delving deeply, not by any means—just picking off the nuggets, as it were.

    Dwellers in Arcady

    Albert Bigelow Paine
  • I was cast forth from my order because of my delving in black magic.

    The Hour of the Dragon Robert E. Howard
British Dictionary definitions for delving

delve

/dɛlv/
verb (mainly intransitive; often foll by in or into)
1.
to inquire or research deeply or intensively (for information, etc): he delved in the Bible for quotations
2.
to search or rummage (in a drawer, the pockets, etc)
3.
(esp of an animal) to dig or burrow deeply (into the ground, etc)
4.
(also transitive) (archaic or dialect) to dig or turn up (earth, a garden, etc), as with a spade
Derived Forms
delver, noun
Word Origin
Old English delfan; related to Old High German telban to dig, Russian dolbit to hollow out with a chisel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for delving

delve

v.

Old English delfan "to dig" (class III strong verb; past tense dealf, past participle dolfen), common West Germanic verb (cf. Old Saxon delban, Dutch delven, Middle High German telben "to dig"), from PIE root *dhelbh- (cf. Lithuanian delba "crowbar," Russian dolbit', Czech dlabati, Polish dłubać "to chisel;" Russian dolotó, Czech dlato, Polish dłuto "chisel"). Weak inflections emerged 14c.-16c. Related: Delved; delving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for delve

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for delving

12
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for delving