dig

1 of 3

verb

dug ˈdəg How to pronounce dig (audio) ; digging

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

dig

2 of 3

noun

1
a
: 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

dig

3 of 3

abbreviation

digest

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Many bystanders tried to help them out of sand pit Cell phone footage obtained by WTVJ-Ch. 6 of the moments after the hole collapsed show at least 10 bystanders rushing to the scene to try to dig the children out. Katie Wiseman, The Indianapolis Star, 21 Feb. 2024 And winning is not what is happening for Ukraine on the battlefield today, where soldiers daily fend off dozens of Russian artillery, drone, and ground attacks, and have dug deeper defensive positions all along the front line. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Feb. 2024 Rescuers used support boards to prevent the sand from collapsing further and shovels to dig the siblings out from the hole that was about 5 feet deep, Sandra King, a spokesperson for Pompano Beach Fire Rescue, told the news station. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, 21 Feb. 2024 When firefighters arrived, nearby Good Samaritans were trying to help dig the children out. David Goodhue, Miami Herald, 21 Feb. 2024 Local Black civilians dug most of these soldiers’ graves. Kellie B. Gormly, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Feb. 2024 But digging deep into that generational trauma left her with conflicting emotions. Nicole Acosta, Peoplemag, 18 Feb. 2024 Bezos saves big with his Florida digs Bezos’s move to Miami from Seattle last year has likely saved him millions in state taxes, as Florida has no capital gains tax. Bruce Gil, Quartz, 16 Feb. 2024 Our intelligence people did some digging and found a lawsuit filed by him against the company in a Brazilian court. Elliot Ackerman, WIRED, 9 Feb. 2024
Noun
The dig is meticulous, large rectangular areas of earth removed by hand. The Arizona Republic, 23 Feb. 2024 Also on Wednesday’s call, DeSantis made what many on the call viewed as a veiled dig at Susie Wiles, a senior adviser on Trump’s campaign who once served as a top adviser to DeSantis. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, 22 Feb. 2024 The dig site is located near Wittenham Clumps, a landmark in the region owned by the charity Earth Trust. Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Feb. 2024 Still, the new digs could pose an obstacle to both the B’s business ambitions and their hopes of being taken seriously by baseball fans in Oakland and the East Bay. Shomik Mukherjee, The Mercury News, 8 Feb. 2024 Previous archaeological digs have uncovered Saxon artifacts east of the museum, but the most recent excavation is the first to prove their urban center stretched so far to the west. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 7 Feb. 2024 Located on the French Riveria in the village of Gilette, the digs measure 6,000 square feet and there are seven bedrooms split between the main dwelling and guest house. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 7 Feb. 2024 Those well versed in Irish history might clock digs at Irish hero Michael Collins or a brief hallucination gag involving the face of politician Gerry Adams. Carlos Aguilar, Variety, 26 Jan. 2024 With only five menu items, Cosmo Burger’s popularity has outgrown its tiny digs: another location recently opened in the Lenexa Public Market. Natalie Wallington, Kansas City Star, 31 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dig.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

Middle English diggen

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near dig

Cite this Entry

“Dig.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dig. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

dig

1 of 2 verb
dug ˈdəg How to pronounce dig (audio) ; digging
1
a
: to turn up the soil (as with a spade or hoe)
b
: to hollow out or form by removing earth
dig a hole
2
: to uncover or search by or as if by turning up earth
dig potatoes
dig for gold
dig through books for help
3
: find out
dig up the facts
4
: prod entry 1 sense 1, poke
dug me in the ribs
5
a
: to pay attention to : notice
dig that hat
b
: understand sense 1a
you dig me?
c
: like entry 1 sense 1
I dig music
digger noun

dig

2 of 2 noun
1
2
: a harsh remark : gibe
3
: a place where scientists (as archaeologists or paleontologists) try to recover buried objects by digging
also : the process of digging for such objects

More from Merriam-Webster on dig

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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