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

On his blog of the same name, Carlier, 41, delves deeper into mascot taxonomy. Corinne Purtill, Quartzy, "The English-speaking internet’s best guide to Japanese mascots," 8 June 2019 But there’s also a rich tapestry of stories in the comics, stories that are every bit as good or even better as the ones onscreen today, that Marvel hasn’t delved into yet. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "2018 belonged to Black Panther. And it could change Marvel’s future.," 11 Dec. 2018 The country's ceremonial president from the ruling Likud party, Reuven Rivlin, who rarely delves into domestic politics, warned against clauses that appeared to encourage segregation and the downgrading in status of the Arabic language. Aron Heller, Fox News, "Contentious bill defines Israel as Jewish nation-state," 16 July 2018 Konopka said studies such as the SRGAP2 paper, which delve into the function of a gene, can help to clarify the role that human-specific genetic changes play in our development as a species. Quanta Magazine, "A Missing Genetic Link in Human Evolution," 2 Jan. 2014 Since her appointment as Dior's first female creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri has delved into the worlds of ballet, 1960s protests, and even rodeos for inspiration on the runway. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Dior Had Live Acrobats Perform on Its Couture Runway," 22 Jan. 2019 More research is necessary to fully delve into possible social and biological factors behind gender differences in narcissism and NPD. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "9 Facts to Know About Narcissistic Personality Disorder Before Calling Someone a Narcissist," 8 Nov. 2018 But, this year, instead of throwing on a pointed hat and riding off into the night, why not delve into the coven a little further? Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Which Witch Are You? 7 Beguiling Beauty Looks from Film for Halloween," 14 Oct. 2018 MoMA has covered Le Corbusier ad infinitum, and its 2015 Latin American architecture exhibition delved deeply into the use of modernism (including concrete) to construct new neighborhoods, cities, and universities across Central and South America. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "Concrete utopia," 12 July 2018

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

22 Jun 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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