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[eks-kuh-vey-ter] /ˈɛks kəˌveɪ tər/
a person or thing that excavates.
a power-driven machine for digging, moving, or transporting loose gravel, sand, or soil.
a sharp, spoonlike instrument used for scraping out diseased tissue, as in dentistry.
Origin of excavator
First recorded in 1805-15; excavate + -or2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for excavator
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Of course Dr. Munro nowhere suggests that any excavator is the guilty “faker.”

    The Clyde Mystery Andrew Lang
  • These have as yet been untouched by the spade of the excavator.

    Biblical Geography and History Charles Foster Kent
  • At one time the male, at another the female, is the excavator.

  • Intuitively that excavator's sense of his defined the direction.

    The Fortieth Door

    Mary Hastings Bradley
  • No doubt there is frequently new material discovered; the excavator may in a month's digging find stuff for years of speculation.

    Problems in Greek history John Pentland Mahaffy
  • The small cavity seemed as large as a half bushel; the excavator more the size of an ax; and the sound was equally magnified.

  • That is, he said he was an excavator, but I never saw anything before that looked at all like him.

    Us and the Bottleman

    Edith Ballinger Price
  • The principal barrow has recently been opened by Fauvel: few or no relics, as vases, etc. were found by the excavator.

    The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 2 George Gordon Byron
  • The peasants laboured enthusiastically, but to the excavator's disgust the Turkish authorities forbade him to proceed.

British Dictionary definitions for excavator


a powered machine for digging earth, gravel, sand, etc, esp a caterpillar tractor so equipped
any person, animal, or thing that excavates
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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excavator in Medicine

excavator ex·ca·va·tor (ěk'skə-vā'tər)
An instrument, such as a sharp spoon or curette, used in scraping out pathological tissue.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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