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[ig-zoom, -zyoom, eks-hyoom] /ɪgˈzum, -ˈzyum, ɛksˈhyum/
verb (used with object), exhumed, exhuming.
to dig (something buried, especially a dead body) out of the earth; disinter.
to revive or restore after neglect or a period of forgetting; bring to light:
to exhume a literary reputation; to exhume old letters.
Origin of exhume
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin exhumāre, equivalent to Latin ex- ex-1 + humāre to inter
Related forms
[eks-hyoo-mey-shuh n] /ˌɛks hyʊˈmeɪ ʃən/ (Show IPA),
exhumer, noun
unexhumed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for exhume
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But we exhume them from old documents to show how these things were done.

    Policing the Plains R.G. MacBeth
  • Do you seriously expect me to get an order to exhume him now?

    Dead Ringer Lester del Rey
  • It is always a difficult task to exhume such buried treasure, for some preternatural guardian or other will be found on the alert.

    The Ghost World

    T. F. Thiselton (Thomas Firminger Thiselton) Dyer
  • Besides, it was not our custom to exhume the bodies of those who had been buried.

  • Of what use would it be to exhume Mr. Brockelsby after the doctors had cut him up?

  • It would be cruel to exhume those antique judgments, so honest, yet so imbecile and so mistaken.

    Transcendentalism in New England Octavius Brooks Frothingham
  • And do thou too pursue thy work, and exhume and stir up thy thought.

    The Insect Jules Michelet
  • He threatened to revive the story, to exhume your body, and to say that Aldina Ringwood had told him all about the will.

    A Stable for Nightmares J. Sheridan Le Fanu
  • Early one Sunday morning the widow, accompanied by the bank manager and the undertaker, left town to exhume the remains.

    Reminiscences of Queensland William Henry Corfield
British Dictionary definitions for exhume


verb (transitive)
to dig up (something buried, esp a corpse); disinter
to reveal; disclose; unearth: don't exhume that old argument
Derived Forms
exhumation (ˌɛkshjʊˈmeɪʃən) noun
exhumer, noun
Word Origin
C18: from Medieval Latin exhumāre, from Latin ex-1 + humāre to bury, from humus the ground
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 exhume

early 15c., from Medieval Latin exhumare "to unearth" (13c.), from Latin ex- "out of" (see ex-) + humare "bury," from humus "earth" (see chthonic). An alternative form was exhumate (1540s), taken directly from Medieval Latin. Related: Exhumed; exhuming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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