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

Origin of excavator

First recorded in 1805–15; excavate + -or2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for excavator

bulldozer, digger, backhoe

Examples from the Web for excavator

Contemporary Examples of excavator

Historical Examples of excavator

  • Of course Dr. Munro nowhere suggests that any excavator is the guilty “faker.”

  • These have as yet been untouched by the spade of the excavator.

  • At one time the male, at another the female, is the excavator.

  • Intuitively that excavator's sense of his defined the direction.

    The Fortieth Door

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • No doubt there is frequently new material discovered; the excavator may in a month's digging find stuff for years of speculation.

    Problems in Greek history

    John Pentland Mahaffy

British Dictionary definitions for excavator



a powered machine for digging earth, gravel, sand, etc, esp a caterpillar tractor so equipped
any person, animal, or thing that excavates
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

excavator in Medicine




An instrument, such as a sharp spoon or curette, used in scraping out pathological tissue.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.