• synonyms


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. Also called dredging machine. any of various powerful machines for dredging up or removing earth, as from the bottom of a river, by means of a scoop, a series of buckets, a suction pipe, or the like.
  2. a barge on which such a machine is mounted.
  3. a dragnet or other contrivance for gathering material or objects from the bottom of a river, bay, etc.
verb (used with object), dredged, dredg·ing.
  1. to clear out with a dredge; remove sand, silt, mud, etc., from the bottom of.
  2. to take, catch, or gather with a dredge; obtain or remove by a dredge.
verb (used without object), dredged, dredg·ing.
  1. to use a dredge.
Verb Phrases
  1. dredge up,
    1. to unearth or bring to notice: We dredged up some old toys from the bottom of the trunk.
    2. to locate and reveal by painstaking investigation or search: Biographers excel at dredging up little known facts.

Origin of dredge1

1425–75; late Middle English (Scots) dreg-, Old English *drecg(e); see dray, draw


verb (used with object), dredged, dredg·ing. Cookery.
  1. to sprinkle or coat with some powdered substance, especially flour.

Origin of dredge2

1590–1600; v. use of dredge (now obsolete or dial.) mixture of grains, late Middle English dragge, dregge, apparently to be identified with Middle English drag(g)e, dragie (disyllabic) sweetmeat, confection < Anglo-French drag(g)é, dragee, Old French (see dragée); compare similar dual sense of Medieval Latin dragētum, dragium
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dredge

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for dredge


  1. Also called: dredger a machine, in the form of a bucket ladder, grab, or suction device, used to remove material from a riverbed, channel, etc
  2. another name for dredger 1 (def. 1)
  1. to remove (material) from a riverbed, channel, etc, by means of a dredge
  2. (tr) to search for (a submerged object) with or as if with a dredge; drag

Word Origin

C16: perhaps ultimately from Old English dragan to draw; see drag


  1. to sprinkle or coat (food) with flour, sugar, etc

Word Origin

C16: from Old French dragie, perhaps from Latin tragēmata spices, from Greek
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

Word Origin and History for dredge


late 15c., in Scottish dreg-boat "boat for dredging," perhaps ultimately from root of drag (possibly via Middle Dutch dregghe "drag-net"). The verb is attested from c.1500 in Scottish. Related: Dredged; dredging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.