\ 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

excavate, shovel

Synonyms: Noun

dab, jab, lunge, poke

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Examples of dig in a Sentence


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.


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

Such falls happen often in India when wells dug to draw water are left dangerously open. Fox News, "Indian toddler trapped in well dies amid 110-hour rescue try," 11 June 2019 Construction crews on Saturday dug the well deeper as a temporary solution, but a leak later was detected, the statement said. Chris Coppola, azcentral, "Douglas prison still plagued by low water pressure; emergency measures remain in place," 10 June 2019 Shouldn’t be against Djokovic, who kept digging holes for himself and climbing out. Washington Post, "Djokovic Slam run ends at French; Thiem vs. Nadal in final," 9 June 2019 Radioactive activity and farming methods are what caused the widespread infertility in the first place, and Gilead’s already trying to remedy that by farming organically and Colony workers digging to get rid of the contaminated soil. Nicole Pomarico, refinery29.com, "What Is June's Daughter Being Trained For On The Handmaid's Tale?," 8 June 2019 All match, Djokovic kept digging a hole, then climbing out. Howard Fendrich, chicagotribune.com, "Dominic Thiem ends Novak Djokovic's Grand Slam winning streak to reach French Open final," 8 June 2019 Sarkissian urged customers to call 811 before any digging project to lower the risk of any similarly disruptive line breaks. George Kelly, The Mercury News, "Long delays expected as BART’s Transbay Tube reopens following closure," 7 June 2019 His music and lyrics transcended the usual party cliches, digging deeper into our shared modern consciousness with music videos that dared to question the status quo. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Avicii's Posthumous Album 'Tim' Is Out Now: Stream & Listen," 6 June 2019 Before the men embarked for France from Weymouth, the Army dug a large burn pit and ordered the GIs to discard any nonessential items, Earll told the Library of Congress Veterans History Project in 2007. The Washington Post, al.com, "D-Day veteran wonders why he lived when so many others died," 3 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Season 2 digs even deeper into the sisters at the heart of the show. Marc Silver, Washington Post, "Another round! The Season 3 renewal of Starz’s ‘Vida’ was well deserved.," 9 June 2019 Senior Teddy Fravel had 17 kills and classmate Collin Liedke had 18 digs. Sean Begin, courant.com, "Boys volleyball: Newington tops Cheshire for third straight Class M title," 7 June 2019 For those digs, the PodShare website says a renter pays $60 a night, $350 a week or $1,500 a month. Marisa Kendall, The Mercury News, "Rent a bunk bed for $1,200 a month? Idea sparks pushback from SF officials," 7 June 2019 The Brewing Projekt opened in 2015 and moved into bigger digs on the Chippewa River this year. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Beer and a bike ride: 12 breweries along bike trails in Wisconsin," 6 June 2019 Califf closed out his career with 795 assists and 184 digs this season. Bob Narang, chicagotribune.com, "OPRF boys volleyball takes home a trophy with fourth-place state finish," 3 June 2019 Yet, without fail, a dinner party or a cocktail gathering will manage to work its way into our downtime, far more frequently than our friends with bigger, fancier digs. Steven Stolman, Town & Country, "How the Salonnière List of the Best Party Hosts in America Is Put Together," 21 Mar. 2019 According to the newspaper's source, Kanye went to check out the multimillion dollar digs on his own during a trip to Miami in December and just knew Kim had to have it. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kanye West Bought Kim Kardashian a $14 Million Christmas Gift," 29 Dec. 2018 The Telegraph reported that the Sussex's new digs would include a nursery, a yoga studio, and a gym. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "You Can Now Live in the Same Neighborhood as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry," 22 May 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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Statistics for dig

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dig

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

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More Definitions for dig



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dig

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dig

Spanish Central: Translation of dig

Nglish: Translation of dig for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dig for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dig

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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