View synonyms for excavator


[ eks-kuh-vey-ter ]


  1. a person or thing that excavates.
  2. a power-driven machine for digging, moving, or transporting loose gravel, sand, or soil.
  3. a sharp, spoonlike instrument used for scraping out diseased tissue, as in dentistry.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of excavator1

First recorded in 1805–15; excavate + -or 2
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Example Sentences

One that comes to mind is I took my friend’s car, lowered it into a pool with an excavator, told him about it.

From Ozy

Because most cities are built in layers, with older structures gradually buried beneath the new, excavators must destroy the upper layers to reach further back in time.

Projects are often complex, and involve excavators and bulldozers to shore up streambanks using giant boulders or to construct brand-new channels.

Workers operating a tractor or an excavator while installing a drainage tile, a house foundation, or a new pipeline, perhaps, come upon an abandoned line.

But, in light of Polly’s great-grandfather’s work as a famous excavator of myths, a la Joseph Campbell, we might also see such coincidences as reflections of a larger, more intricate design than the tangled branches of one family tree.

Nearby, a yellow Caterpillar excavator sits idle next to an opening that once led into a cross-border tunnel.

One interesting case study is Sir Arthur Evans, the original excavator and “restorer” of the Minoan palace of Knossos on Crete.

If they are Ancients and dead then let them be buried and left to the archæological excavator.

He must have been an erudite excavator, but, in literature, a reader only of recent minor poetry.

That is, he said he was an excavator, but I never saw anything before that looked at all like him.

The Red Ant (Myrmica rubra) plies, according to circumstances, the trade of a mason or excavator.

The steam shovel, or steam excavator, is a modified form of dredge adapted for excavating material on dry land.


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