- 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
Examples from the Web for digging
He said he spent his time doing “Mickey Mouse make-work,” digging though old records for long-abandoned well sites.Two Texas Regulators Tried to Enforce the Rules. They Were Fired.
David Hasemyer, InsideClimate News
December 9, 2014
“There are various iterations of my life out there,” says Billy Hayes, digging into his Eggs Benedict at a Manhattan diner.The Unbelievable (True) Story of the World’s Most Infamous Hash Smuggler
November 14, 2014
She said: “They said that because of a by-law I had to have the body cremated or buried within 24 hours after digging it up.”Hope and Change? Burma Kills a Journalist Before Obama Arrives
November 11, 2014
During construction, many men, indentured servants in the beginning, were blown apart during the blasting and digging.Washington’s Wheeler-Dealer Patriotism
October 31, 2014
Wahlberg chimes in with the hint of a smirk: “The hard days of digging ditches!”Jenny McCarthy: I Am Not Anti-Vaccine
October 24, 2014
Got plenty of water by digging a few holes in the springy places.Explorations in Australia
I could not succeed in finding the plant for which they had been digging.The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California
Brevet Col. J.C. Fremont
He, Saunders, the despair of the girls for thirty years, had fallen into a pit of his own digging!Quaint Courtships
We worked in gangs of six, digging and passing up the dirt into the night-tubs.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
I knew a boy who was digging a cave in a sandy place, and he found an Indian grave.Buried Cities, Part 2
- NZ informal short for Digger (def. 1)
- (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 and History for 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.
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.