Origin of dig

1
1275–1325; Middle English diggen, perhaps representing an OE derivative of dīc ditch; Middle French diguer to dig (< Middle Dutch) is attested later and apparently not the immediate source
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dig in

bite, burrow, chew, commence, consume, delve, eat, rise, spring

British Dictionary definitions for dig in

dig in

verb (adverb)

military to create (a defensive position) by digging foxholes, trenches, etc
informal to entrench (oneself) firmly
(intr) informal to defend or maintain a position firmly, as in an argument
(intr) informal to begin vigorously to eatdon't wait, just dig in
dig one's heels in informal to refuse stubbornly to move or be persuaded

Dig

noun

NZ informal short for Digger (def. 1)

dig

verb digs, digging or dug

(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

noun

the act of digging
a thrust or poke, esp in the ribs
a cutting or sarcastic remark
informal an archaeological excavation
See also dig in, digs

Word Origin for dig

C13 diggen, of uncertain origin
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 dig in

dig

n.

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.

dig

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with dig in

dig in

1

Excavate trenches to defend oneself in battle and hold one's position, as in The battalion dug in and held on. This usage gained currency in the trench warfare of World War I. [Mid-1800s]

2

Also, dig in one's heels. Adopt a firm position, be obstinate and unyielding. For example, Arthur refused to argue the point and simply dug in, or The dog dug in its heels and refused to move. [Colloquial; late 1800s]

3

Begin to work intensively, as in If we all dig in it'll be done before dark. [Colloquial; second half of 1800s]

4

Also, dig into. Begin to eat heartily, as in Even before all the food was on the table they began to dig in, or When the bell rang, the kids all dug into their lunches. [Colloquial; early 1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.