Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


verb, \ˈdig\

Simple Definition of dig

  • : to move soil, sand, snow, etc., in order to create a hole

  • : to form (a hole, tunnel, etc.) by removing soil, sand, snow, etc.

  • : to uncover (something that is underground) by moving earth, soil, sand, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of dig

dug play \ˈdəg\ digging

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to break up, turn, or loosen (as earth) with an implement b :  to prepare the soil of <dig a garden>

  3. 2 a :  to bring to the surface by digging :  unearth <dig potatoes> b :  to bring to light or out of hiding <dig up facts>

  4. 3 :  to hollow out or form by removing earth :  excavate <dig a hole>

  5. 4 :  to drive down so as to penetrate :  thrust

  6. 5 :  poke, prod

  7. 6 slang

  8. a :  to pay attention to :  notice <dig that fancy hat>

  9. b :  understand <couldn't dig the medical jargon> c :  like, admire <high school students dig short poetry — David Burmester>

  10. intransitive verb
  11. 1 :  to turn up, loosen, or remove earth

  12. 2 :  to work hard or laboriously

  13. 3 :  to advance by or as if by removing or pushing aside material

Examples of dig in a sentence

  1. Some animal has been digging in the garden.

  2. They dug into the sand with their hands.

  3. He dug down about 10 feet before he hit water.

  4. Dig a hole three feet deep.

  5. The first step in building a house is to dig the foundation.

  6. The prisoners escaped by digging a tunnel under the fence.

  7. digging clams on the beach

  8. These detectives won't stop digging until they find out what happened.

Origin of dig

Middle English diggen

First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with dig




Simple Definition of dig

  • : a push with a body part (such as your elbow) : a poke or thrust

  • : a criticism or insult that is directed toward a particular person or group

  • : a place where scientists try to find buried objects by digging; also : the act of digging for buried objects

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of dig

  1. 1 a :  thrust, poke b :  a cutting remark

  2. 2 plural a :  accommodations for living or working b chiefly British :  lodging 2b

  3. 3 :  an archaeological excavation site; also :  the excavation itself

Examples of dig in a sentence

  1. She gave me a dig in the ribs to get my attention.

  2. She participated in a dig last summer.


First Known Use of dig





Definition of dig

  1. digest

DIG Defined for Kids



verb \ˈdig\

Definition of dig for Students

dug \ˈdəg\digging

  1. 1 :  to turn up, loosen, or remove the soil <The dog was digging in the garden again.>

  2. 2 :  to turn up or remove with a shovel or by similar means <I dug into the snow.>

  3. 3 :  to form by removing earth <dig a hole> <dig a cellar>

  4. 4 :  to uncover or search by or as if by turning up earth <They dug for gold.>

  5. 5 :  1prod 1, poke <He dug me in the ribs.>

dig in
  1. :  to begin eating <Supper's ready, so dig in.>

dig into
  1. 1 :  to begin eating <He dug into a plate of pasta.>

  2. 2 :  to try to discover information <Reporters were digging into the story.>

dig up
  1. 1 :  to uncover or remove (as from soil) <dig up a bush>

  2. 2 :  discover <I dug up information about her past.>




Definition of dig for Students

  1. 1 :  2poke <a dig in the ribs>

  2. 2 :  a place where buried objects are being uncovered <a dinosaur dig>

  3. 3 :  a project to uncover buried objects <The bones were found during a recent dig.>

  4. 4 :  a nasty remark <She got in a dig about forgetting her birthday.>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up dig? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tending to dismiss important matters

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

perplex reduce soothe disapprove
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.