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-digging

Historical Examples of ditch-digging

  • During those early years the young lawyer had other occupations than ditch-digging.

    Historic Shrines of America

    John T. (John Thomson) Faris

  • He had worked at long-shoring, ditch-digging, coal-shovelling—anything, to keep the life in the missus and the kiddies.

    The Human Drift

    Jack London