- to make hollow by removing the inner part; make a hole or cavity in; form into a hollow, as by digging: The ground was excavated for a foundation.
- to make (a hole, tunnel, etc.) by removing material.
- to dig or scoop out (earth, sand, etc.).
- to expose or lay bare by or as if by digging; unearth: to excavate an ancient city.
Origin of excavate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for excavate
There have been attempts to excavate the remains, and many have been removed over the past half-decade.A WWII Battle Frozen in Time
May 14, 2014
In the years since, Alford has worked hard to excavate what she really feels.JFK’s Intern-Mistress Mimi Alford Confesses, ‘I Did Love Him’
February 10, 2012
However, de-miners crawling on their bellies to identify, excavate, and destroy mines remain the default modus operandi.Diana Landmine Conspiracies Return
June 6, 2010
They were men who had studied Greek history and Greek art and they planned to excavate Olympia.Buried Cities, Part 2
Excavate: with a depression that is not the segment of a circle.Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology
John. B. Smith
Aren't they ever going to excavate it like they did Pompeii?The Jolliest School of All
It took an average of 35 shifts to excavate one row of caissons.Concrete Construction
Halbert P. Gillette
The top was absolutely flat and of some depth, as it was so hard to excavate.Madge Morton's Victory
Amy D.V. Chalmers
- to remove (soil, earth, etc) by digging; dig out
- to make (a hole, cavity, or tunnel) in (solid matter) by hollowing or removing the centre or inner partto excavate a tooth
- to unearth (buried objects) methodically in an attempt to discover information about the past
C16: from Latin excavāre, from cavāre to make hollow, from cavus hollow
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
Word Origin and History for excavate
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper