[ dig ]
/ dɪg /
verb (used without object), dug or (Archaic) digged, dig·ging.
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.
verb (used with object), dug or (Archaic) digged, dig·ging.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Feeling Left Out: Idioms That Hurt LeftiesRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Origin of dig1
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
British Dictionary definitions for dig out (1 of 2)
/ (dɪɡ) /
NZ informal short for Digger (def. 1)
British Dictionary definitions for dig out (2 of 2)
/ (dɪɡ) /
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
the act of digging
a thrust or poke, esp in the ribs
a cutting or sarcastic remark
informal an archaeological excavation
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
Idioms and Phrases with dig out
Extract, remove, as in He was determined to dig out every bit of metal he could find. [Late 1300s]
Find by searching for, as in He dug out his first contract from the file. [Mid-1800s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.