- to break up, turn over, or remove earth, sand, etc., as with a shovel, spade, bulldozer, or claw; make an excavation.
- to make one's way or work by or as by removing or turning over material: to dig through the files.
- to break up, turn over, or loosen (earth, sand, etc.), as with a shovel, spade, or bulldozer (often followed by up).
- to form or excavate (a hole, tunnel, etc.) by removing material.
- to unearth, obtain, or remove by digging (often followed by up or out).
- to find or discover by effort or search.
- to poke, thrust, or force (usually followed by in or into): He dug his heel into the ground.
- thrust; poke: He gave me a dig in the ribs with his elbow.
- a cutting, sarcastic remark.
- an archaeological site undergoing excavation.
- digs, Informal. living quarters; lodgings.
- dig in,
- to dig trenches, as in order to defend a position in battle.
- to maintain one's opinion or position.
- to start eating.
- dig into, Informal. to attack, work, or apply oneself voraciously, vigorously, or energetically: to dig into one's work; to dig into a meal.
- dig out,
- to remove earth or debris from by digging.
- to hollow out by digging.
- to find by searching: to dig out facts for a term paper.
- dig up,
- to discover in the course of digging.
- to locate; find: to dig up information.
Origin of dig1
- to understand: Can you dig what I'm saying?
- to take notice of: Dig those shoes he's wearing.
- to like, love, or enjoy: She digs that kind of music. We really dig each other.
Origin of dig2
Related Wordsgibe, unearth, search, shovel, drill, dredge, discover, penetrate, exhume, bulldoze, scoop, sift, burrow, clean, enter, uncover, bore, gouge, harvest, excavate
Examples from the Web for dig
For a few hours every day she would read big books at the library, watch reruns of the show, and dig through questions in the J!Jeopardy! Champion Julia Collins’s Brain Feels Like Mush
November 20, 2014
This gave the Germans time to stabilize and dig in on the “hedgerow front” before St. Lô.Blood in the Sand: When James Jones Wrote a Grunt’s View of D-Day
November 15, 2014
When I was young, I loved to dig and find and collect fossils.The Real-Life Raiders of the Lost Ark
November 14, 2014
And “om nom nom nom” is more of a dig at Cookie Monster and Instagram foodies than it is at anyone else.Feminist, Bae, Turnt: Time’s ‘Worst Words’ List Is Sexist and Racist
November 13, 2014
The two talked about reproductive freedom (with a dig at recent efforts in Texas to highly regulate abortion clinics).Live from San Antonio: Women in the World Texas!
Women in the World
October 23, 2014
As a matter of fact, we dig a gulf between the material and the spiritual which does not exist.The Conquest of Fear
Now I will make you dig, dig, dig, to the very depths of the earth to bring me gold!Opera Stories from Wagner
They had to dig around them carefully, so that Dr. Schliemann might see what they were.
But during this work of many weeks he had taught his workmen how to dig.
With better tools we will proceed to dig into these mounds and discover what they contain.English Villages
P. H. Ditchfield
- (when tr, often foll by up) to cut into, break up, and turn over or remove (earth, soil, etc), esp with a spade
- to form or excavate (a hole, tunnel, passage, etc) by digging, usually with an implement or (of animals) with feet, claws, etcto dig a tunnel
- (often foll by through) to make or force (one's way), esp by removing obstructionshe dug his way through the crowd
- (tr; often foll by out or up) to obtain by diggingto dig potatoes; to dig up treasure
- (tr; often foll by out or up) to find or discover by effort or searchingto dig out unexpected facts
- (tr; foll by in or into) to thrust or jab (a sharp instrument, weapon, etc); pokehe dug his spurs into the horse's side
- (tr; foll by in or into) to mix (compost, etc) with soil by digging
- (tr) informal to like, understand, or appreciate
- (intr) US slang to work hard, esp for an examination
- (intr) British informal to have lodgingsI dig in South London
- the act of digging
- a thrust or poke, esp in the ribs
- a cutting or sarcastic remark
- informal an archaeological excavation
- NZ informal short for Digger (def. 1)
Word Origin and History for dig
early 14c. (diggen), of uncertain origin, perhaps related to dike and ditch, either via Old French diguer (ultimately from a Germanic source), or directly from an unrecorded Old English word. Native words were deolfan (see delve), grafan (see grave (v.)).
Slang sense of "understand" first recorded 1934 in Black English, probably based on the notion of "excavate." A slightly varied sense of "appreciate" emerged 1939. Strong past participle dug appeared 16c., but is not etymological. Related: Digging.
late 17c. as "a tool for digging," from dig (v.). Meaning "archaeological expedition" is from 1896. Meaning "thrust or poke" (as with an elbow) is from 1819; figurative sense of this is from 1840.