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[drej] /drɛdʒ/
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.
a barge on which such a machine is mounted.
a dragnet or other contrivance for gathering material or objects from the bottom of a river, bay, etc.
verb (used with object), dredged, dredging.
to clear out with a dredge; remove sand, silt, mud, etc., from the bottom of.
to take, catch, or gather with a dredge; obtain or remove by a dredge.
verb (used without object), dredged, dredging.
to use a dredge.
Verb phrases
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
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English (Scots) dreg-, Old English *drecg(e); see dray, draw Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dredge up
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Somehow Mikah managed to dredge up enough strength to keep going.

    The Ethical Engineer Henry Maxwell Dempsey
  • Ben could dredge up no infantile memory of them but a blur of faces sharing nothing, voices tediously speaking not for him.

    Wilderness of Spring Edgar Pangborn
  • Oys′ter-tongs, a tool used to dredge up oysters in deep water.

  • They knew he would do it and they stood silent, trying to dredge up the nerve to make a move.

    Deadly City Paul W. Fairman
  • How one longs to dredge up some notes of such a night's conversation from the cruel river of oblivion!

    Old and New London Walter Thornbury
British Dictionary definitions for dredge up

dredge up

verb (transitive, adverb)
to bring to notice, esp with considerable effort and from an obscure, remote, or unlikely source: to dredge up worthless ideas
to raise with or as if with a dredge: they dredged up the corpse from the lake


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
another name for dredger1 (sense 1)
to remove (material) from a riverbed, channel, etc, by means of a dredge
(transitive) 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


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
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Word Origin and History for dredge up



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
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Slang definitions & phrases for dredge up

dredge up

verb phrase

To find or discover by effort and persistence: Let's dredge up more dirt on the candidate (1950s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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