delve

[delv]
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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.
verb (used with object), delved, delv·ing.
  1. Archaic. to dig; excavate.

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

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


Examples from the Web for delving

Contemporary Examples of delving

Historical Examples of delving

  • "Don't let her kid you, Barry," advised Cousin Jim, delving into his lobster.

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • Spent all day plowing the low meadow, Peter delving potatoes.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • There, too, in the dim background, a weird shape is ever delving.

    The Biglow Papers

    James Russell Lowell

  • We were not delving deeply, not by any means—just picking off the nuggets, as it were.

    Dwellers in Arcady

    Albert Bigelow Paine

  • I was cast forth from my order because of my delving in black magic.

    The Hour of the Dragon

    Robert E. Howard


British Dictionary definitions for delving

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
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 delving

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper