delve

verb
\ ˈdelv How to pronounce delve (audio) \
delved; delving

Definition of delve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to dig or labor with or as if with a spade delved into her handbag in search of a pen
2a : to make a careful or detailed search for information delved into the past
b : to examine a subject in detail the book delves into the latest research won't delve into her reason for leaving

delve

noun

Definition of delve (Entry 2 of 2)

archaic

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Other Words from delve

Verb

delver noun

Synonyms for delve

Synonyms: Noun

antre, cave, cavern, grot, grotto

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Digging Up the History of Delve

Verb

We must dig deep into the English language's past to find the origins of "delve." The verb originated in 9th century Old English as "delfan" and is related to the Old High German word telban, meaning "dig." For some 400 years, there was only delving - no digging - because "dig" didn't exist until the 13th century. Is the phrase "dig and delve" (as in the line "eleven, twelve, dig and delve," from the nursery rhyme that begins "one, two, buckle my shoe") redundant? Not necessarily. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, in some local uses as recently as the late 19th century, "dig" was the term for working with a mattock (a tool similar to an adze or a pick), while "delve" was reserved for using a spade.

Examples of delve in a Sentence

Verb

He tried to delve inside his memory for clues about what had happened.

Noun

a poem in which a medieval knight encounters a mysterious beauty in a darkened delve

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Communication planet Mercury moves backward through Cancer on Friday, encouraging us to delve deeper into our memories. Venus Australis, refinery29.com, "Your Horoscope This Week," 15 July 2019 That Follow, the debut feature from Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage, which delves into the serpent-focused doings of a secluded Appalachian religious community. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Them That Follow Is a Lazy Portrait of Religious Fanaticism," 20 June 2019 And, according to the show's creator, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the third season promises to delve even deeper into shady teen years of the Andrews, Lodge, Cooper, and Jones adults — with the help of their onscreen kids. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "The Riverdale Cast Will Reportedly Play Their Own Parents in a Season 3 Flashback," 7 Aug. 2018 Father-son connections Ted Pardee and Bucky Richardson never delved into coaching after their football careers but 7-on-7 gives them the chance to at least get a taste. Adam Coleman, Houston Chronicle, "Soft-shell helmets debut at 7-on-7 tourney," 28 June 2019 The actress, who appeared at a Popsugar panel talk in New York City on Saturday, told the crowd that Season 4 of the hit show will delve into the early days of Jack and Rebecca Pearson's relationship. Marianne Garvey, CNN, "Mandy Moore says viewers won't see what's coming on 'This Is Us'," 24 June 2019 If Black Mirror had delved into these questions more fully, a sharper, more relevant satire could have emerged. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Black Mirror’s Miley Cyrus Episode Isn’t That Far-Fetched," 6 June 2019 According to an article on HBO, Isaac spoke about his character, delving in directly to what George told the creators about his character and then how the books basically ended. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Whoops—Isaac Hampstead Wright Might Have Just Spoiled the Ending to the 'Game of Thrones' Books," 30 May 2019 That is why my book delves into their pasts and the culture that shaped them into two people who consider rules, including the rule of law, as something that exists for other people. Vicky Ward, Town & Country, "Vicky Ward on Why She Wrote About Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump's Unprecedented White House Role," 17 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'delve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of delve

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for delve

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English delfan; akin to Old High German telban to dig

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Dictionary Entries near delve

deluvium

deluxe

delvauxite

delve

dely

dem

Dem

Statistics for delve

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for delve

The first known use of delve was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for delve

delve

verb

English Language Learners Definition of delve

: to search for information about something
chiefly British : to reach into a bag, container, etc., in order to find something

delve

verb
\ ˈdelv How to pronounce delve (audio) \
delved; delving

Kids Definition of delve

1 : to dig or work hard with or as if with a shovel
2 : to work hard looking for information

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More from Merriam-Webster on delve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with delve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for delve

Spanish Central: Translation of delve

Nglish: Translation of delve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of delve for Arabic Speakers

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