a worker whose occupation is digging ditches, especially with pick and shovel.
a person engaged in exhausting manual work, especially work that requires little or no originality.
Also called ditcher, trencher. a power excavating machine designed to remove earth in a continuous line and to a predetermined width and depth, as by means of a rotating belt equipped with scoops.

Origin of ditchdigger

First recorded in 1895–1900; ditch + digger
Related formsditch·dig·ging, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ditch-digger

Historical Examples of ditch-digger

  • Shown up in our newspapers as a ditch-digger—a fly-by-night—a nobody!

    The Landloper

    Holman Day

  • A little nephew of ours said he wanted to be a ditch-digger.

    Analyzing Character

    Katherine M. H. Blackford and Arthur Newcomb

  • He is no longer a ditch-digger and a ploughman, but the proud master of councils or the cultured professor of the university.

  • A ditch-digger, looking at the question short-sightedly, may deem "a good drunk" a very desirable form of enjoyment.

  • The breakfast came and Craig ate like a ditch-digger—his own breakfast and most of Grant's.