verb (used without object), dug or (Archaic) digged, dig·ging.
verb (used with object), dug or (Archaic) digged, dig·ging.
- to dig trenches, as in order to defend a position in battle.
- to maintain one's opinion or position.
- to start eating.
- 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.
- to discover in the course of digging.
- to locate; find: to dig up information.
Origin of dig1
verb digs, digging or dug
Word Origin for dig
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.
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.
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]
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]
Begin to work intensively, as in If we all dig in it'll be done before dark. [Colloquial; second half of 1800s]
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]