[ dig ]
See synonyms for dig on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object),dug [duhg] /dʌg/ or (Archaic) digged [digd], /dɪgd/, dig·ging.
  1. to break up, turn over, or remove earth, sand, etc., as with a shovel, spade, bulldozer, or claw; make an excavation.

  2. to make one's way or work by or as by removing or turning over material: to dig through the files.

verb (used with object),dug [duhg] /dʌg/ or (Archaic) digged [digd], /dɪgd/, dig·ging.
  1. to break up, turn over, or loosen (earth, sand, etc.), as with a shovel, spade, or bulldozer (often followed by up).

  2. to form or excavate (a hole, tunnel, etc.) by removing material.

  1. to unearth, obtain, or remove by digging (often followed by up or out).

  2. to find or discover by effort or search.

  3. to poke, thrust, or force (usually followed by in or into): He dug his heel into the ground.

  1. thrust; poke: He gave me a dig in the ribs with his elbow.

  2. a cutting, sarcastic remark.

  1. an archaeological site undergoing excavation.

  2. digs, Informal. living quarters; lodgings.

Verb Phrases
  1. dig in,

    • to dig trenches, as in order to defend a position in battle.

    • to maintain one's opinion or position.

    • to start eating.

  2. dig into, Informal. to attack, work, or apply oneself voraciously, vigorously, or energetically: to dig into one's work;to dig into a meal.

  1. 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.

  2. dig up,

    • to discover in the course of digging.

    • to locate; find: to dig up information.

Origin of dig

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English diggen, deggen; perhaps from Middle French diguer “to dig,” from the same Germanic source as ditch

Words Nearby dig

Other definitions for dig (2 of 3)

[ dig ]

verb (used with object),dug, dig·ging.Slang.
  1. to understand: Can you dig what I'm saying?

  2. to take notice of: Dig those shoes he's wearing.

  1. to like, love, or enjoy: She digs that kind of music. We really dig each other.

Origin of dig

First recorded in 1935–40; origin uncertain; perhaps the same as dig1

Other definitions for dig. (3 of 3)


  1. digest.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dig in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dig (1 of 2)


/ (dɪɡ) /

verbdigs, digging or dug
  1. (when tr, often foll by up) to cut into, break up, and turn over or remove (earth, soil, etc), esp with a spade

  2. to form or excavate (a hole, tunnel, passage, etc) by digging, usually with an implement or (of animals) with feet, claws, etc: to dig a tunnel

  1. (often foll by through) to make or force (one's way), esp by removing obstructions: he dug his way through the crowd

  2. (tr; often foll by out or up) to obtain by digging: to dig potatoes; to dig up treasure

  3. (tr; often foll by out or up) to find or discover by effort or searching: to dig out unexpected facts

  4. (tr; foll by in or into) to thrust or jab (a sharp instrument, weapon, etc); poke: he dug his spurs into the horse's side

  5. (tr; foll by in or into) to mix (compost, etc) with soil by digging

  6. (tr) informal to like, understand, or appreciate

  7. (intr) US slang to work hard, esp for an examination

  8. (intr) British informal to have lodgings: I dig in South London

  1. the act of digging

  2. a thrust or poke, esp in the ribs

  1. a cutting or sarcastic remark

  2. informal an archaeological excavation

Origin of dig

C13 diggen, of uncertain origin

British Dictionary definitions for Dig (2 of 2)


/ (dɪɡ) /

  1. NZ informal short for Digger (def. 1)

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