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delve

[delv]
verb (used without object), delved, delv·ing.
  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.
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verb (used with object), delved, delv·ing.
  1. Archaic. to dig; excavate.
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Origin of delve

before 900; Middle English delven, Old English delfan; cognate with Dutch delven, Old High German telban
Related formsdelv·er, nounun·delved, adjective

Synonyms for delve

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for delver

Historical Examples of delver

  • It has been the delver of its own channel through the barrier of the Kirchet.

    Fragments of science, V. 1-2

    John Tyndall

  • Frost was the agent, ice was his delver, water his carrier, and the basin of Lake Ontario his dumping-ground.

  • Idler on its modern surface, or delver in its deep-hearted past, could he reconcile himself to it?

    Indian Summer

    William D. Howells

  • Any comparison between the material comfort of a Kentucky slave and an English ditcher and delver would be preposterous.

  • At this point the farmer slipped, the hedge rustled, and the delver fled away.


British Dictionary definitions for delver

delve

verb (mainly intr; 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 tr) archaic, or dialect to dig or turn up (earth, a garden, etc), as with a spade
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Derived Formsdelver, noun

Word Origin for delve

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

Word Origin and History for delver

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper