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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. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for delving
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So Gordon returned home, and a few weeks later was delving deep into new mysteries.

    Gordon Keith Thomas Nelson Page
  • Spent all day plowing the low meadow, Peter delving potatoes.

    A Son of Hagar Sir Hall Caine
  • He was delving around in a hazy recollection of Bible subjects, which he vaguely remembered having studied when a child.

  • We were not delving deeply, not by any means—just picking off the nuggets, as it were.

    Dwellers in Arcady Albert Bigelow Paine
  • It is well that to painstaking mothers and delving fathers, earth seems so real.

    Folly as It Flies Fanny Fern
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
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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
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