[ig-zoom, -zyoom, eks-hyoom]

verb (used with object), ex·humed, ex·hum·ing.

to dig (something buried, especially a dead body) out of the earth; disinter.
to revive or restore after neglect or a period of forgetting; bring to light: to exhume a literary reputation; to exhume old letters.

Origin of exhume

1400–50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin exhumāre, equivalent to Latin ex- ex-1 + humāre to inter
Related formsex·hu·ma·tion [eks-hyoo-mey-shuh n] /ˌɛks hyʊˈmeɪ ʃən/, nounex·hum·er, nounun·ex·humed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for exhume

Contemporary Examples of exhume

  • A team of scientists is set to exhume the former Palestinian leader's body on Tuesday in order to find out.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Bringing Up Yasir Arafat’s Body

    Tracy McNicoll

    November 24, 2012

Historical Examples of exhume

  • But we exhume them from old documents to show how these things were done.

  • He threatened to revive the story, to exhume your body, and to say that Aldina Ringwood had told him all about the will.

    A Stable for Nightmares

    J. Sheridan Le Fanu

  • "Unless they watched me exhume it, and feared the consequences if it fell into your hands," I suggested.

    The Czar's Spy

    William Le Queux

  • It is always a difficult task to exhume such buried treasure, for some preternatural guardian or other will be found on the alert.

    The Ghost World

    T. F. Thiselton (Thomas Firminger Thiselton) Dyer

  • Early one Sunday morning the widow, accompanied by the bank manager and the undertaker, left town to exhume the remains.

    Reminiscences of Queensland

    William Henry Corfield

British Dictionary definitions for exhume


verb (tr)

to dig up (something buried, esp a corpse); disinter
to reveal; disclose; unearthdon't exhume that old argument
Derived Formsexhumation (ˌɛkshjʊˈmeɪʃən), nounexhumer, noun

Word Origin for exhume

C18: from Medieval Latin exhumāre, from Latin ex- 1 + humāre to bury, from humus the ground
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 exhume

early 15c., from Medieval Latin exhumare "to unearth" (13c.), from Latin ex- "out of" (see ex-) + humare "bury," from humus "earth" (see chthonic). An alternative form was exhumate (1540s), taken directly from Medieval Latin. Related: Exhumed; exhuming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper