\ ˈdig How to pronounce dig (audio) \
dug\ ˈdəg How to pronounce dug (audio) \; digging

Definition of dig

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to break up, turn, or loosen (earth) with an implement digging dirt with a shovel machines digging up the road
b : to prepare the soil of dig a garden
2a : to bring to the surface by digging : unearth dig potatoes
b : to bring to light or out of hiding dig up facts
3 : to hollow out or form by removing earth : excavate dig a hole dig a tunnel
4 : to drive down so as to penetrate : thrust dug her toes into the sand The hawk dug its claws into its prey.
5 : poke, prod dug me in the ribs with his elbow
6 slang
a : to pay attention to : notice dig that fancy hat
b : understand, appreciate couldn't dig the medical jargon
c : like, admire High school students dig short poetry.— David Burmester

intransitive verb

1 : to turn up, loosen, or remove earth digging in the garden dig for buried treasure
2 : to work hard or laboriously
3 : to advance by or as if by removing or pushing aside material digging into the history of the company



Definition of dig (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : thrust, poke a dig in the ribs
b : a cutting remark a subtle dig at their lack of preparedness
2 digs plural
a : accommodations (see accommodation sense 1a) for living or working buying furniture for his new digs
b chiefly British : lodging sense 2b
3 : an archaeological excavation site also : the excavation itself participated in a dig

Definition of dig (Entry 3 of 3)


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Synonyms for dig

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of dig in a Sentence

Verb Some animal has been digging in the garden. They dug into the sand with their hands. He dug down about 10 feet before he hit water. Dig a hole three feet deep. The first step in building a house is to dig the foundation. The prisoners escaped by digging a tunnel under the fence. digging clams on the beach These detectives won't stop digging until they find out what happened. Noun She gave me a dig in the ribs to get my attention. She participated in a dig last summer.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb China has been trying to dig itself out of its economic slump, and there are some signs of recovery — though the path forward is still looking slow and painful. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Thursday, July 2," 2 July 2020 For each rose, dig a hole up to two feet around and deep. Benjamin Whitacre, Better Homes & Gardens, "9 of the Worst Mistakes You Should Stop Making With Your Roses," 25 June 2020 The civilian board now has about 200 staffers, and its investigators dig deep into cases. Eric Umansky, ProPublica, "My Family Saw a Police Car Hit a Kid on Halloween. Then I Learned How NYPD Impunity Works.," 23 June 2020 When a user references a contractors’ race in a review, further questions dig for more distinctive characteristics instead. Candice Wang, Popular Science, "Anti-Black bias affects just about everyone. What’s the best way to deal with implicit racism?," 17 June 2020 But as years of examples have shown, the work of challenging biases in food must dig deeper. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Table Stays White," 16 June 2020 The discussion around Ohio State and Clemson on this pod often has led to disparaging comments about Clemson’s conference, the ACC, but now Nathan and I really dig into it, thanks to a great texter question. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "How the Big Ten crushes the ACC; complaints about last week’s podcasts: Buckeye Talk Daily Pod," 9 June 2020 Out in the wild, meerkats dig their claws into termite mounds. Sarah Haselhorst, Cincinnati.com, "At the zoo, meerkats work for their dinner with the help of GE engineers and some titanium," 8 June 2020 However, if hunters want to expand their numbers, reaching out so that the newcomer doesn't have to dig deep to find them, then lending them their tips, time, and resources is the best first step. Hilary Ribons, Outdoor Life, "A California Girl Goes Turkey Hunting in Texas," 18 Jan. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The dig was initially set to begin in April but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Tulsa Begins Digging for Mass Graves Nearly 100 Years After Race Massacre: 'A Historic Day'," 13 July 2020 The dig on Berettas is their weight and bulk, particularly in 12-gauge models. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "9 of the Most Underrated Semiautomatic Shotguns of All Time," 30 June 2020 Venezuela's water crisis is nothing new, but it's started driving residents to extraordinary measures – banding together to rig their own water systems and even hand-dig shallow wells at home. Scott Smith, The Christian Science Monitor, "In Venezuela, as water runs out, communities improvise solutions," 26 June 2020 The Office of the First Lady defended President Trump's youngest son following a dig from a Food Network host. Dominick Mastrangelo, Washington Examiner, "TV host's comment about Barron Trump earns strong rebuke from East Wing," 23 June 2020 Yadin approached the dig like a military operation. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, "In Search of King David’s Lost Empire," 22 June 2020 That became clear after the first route Aiyuk ran at his first ASU practice: Hagan, in wide receiver lingo, recently broke down the 16-yard dig route. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, "49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk hard to catch, once he gets up to speed," 13 June 2020 Courtney Niesen, a junior out of Roger Bacon, is a three-year starter at libero with 1,625 career digs. Shelby Dermer, Cincinnati.com, "How Urbana University's closing affects careers of Greater Cincinnati high school stars," 23 Apr. 2020 Senior Belinda Torres finished her high school career with 15 digs and 30 serve receptions. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Liberty, Dayton bow out of volleyball playoffs," 6 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dig.' 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 dig


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dig

Verb and Noun

Middle English diggen

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Time Traveler for dig

Time Traveler

The first known use of dig was in the 13th century

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Statistics for dig

Last Updated

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dig.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dig. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for dig


How to pronounce dig (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dig

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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.



English Language Learners Definition of dig (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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


\ ˈdig How to pronounce dig (audio) \
dug\ ˈdəg \; digging

Kids Definition of dig

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to turn up, loosen, or remove the soil The dog was digging in the garden again.
2 : to turn up or remove with a shovel or by similar means I dug into the snow.
3 : to form by removing earth dig a hole dig a cellar
4 : to uncover or search by or as if by turning up earth They dug for gold.
5 : prod entry 1 sense 1, poke He dug me in the ribs.
dig in
: to begin eating Supper's ready, so dig in.
dig into
1 : to begin eating He dug into a plate of pasta.
2 : to try to discover information Reporters were digging into the story.
dig up
1 : to uncover or remove (as from soil) dig up a bush
2 : discover I dug up information about her past.



Kids Definition of dig (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : poke entry 2 a dig in the ribs
2 : a place where buried objects are being uncovered a dinosaur dig
3 : a project to uncover buried objects The bones were found during a recent dig.
4 : a nasty remark She got in a dig about forgetting her birthday.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dig

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dig

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dig

Spanish Central: Translation of dig

Nglish: Translation of dig for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dig for Arabic Speakers

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