\ ˈdig How to pronounce dig (audio) \
dug\ ˈdəg How to pronounce dig (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 When the soil 8-inches deep reaches about 64 degrees, the young nymphs begin to dig their way to the surface and then climb up the trunk of a tree, shrub, fence post or even the leg of a very slow-moving gardener. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 14 May 2021 Periodical cicadas hatch, suck sap from grasses for nourishment, then dig their way underground to subsist on food from plant roots. Meg Muckenhoupt, USA TODAY, 3 May 2021 Voters have tasked Nirenberg with continuing to dig the city out of the pandemic — by ramping up vaccination efforts and putting San Antonians back to work. Joshua Fechter, San Antonio Express-News, 2 May 2021 Alphabet is now spending more on big-ticket projects, like building computer complexes, than Exxon Mobil spends to dig oil and gas out of the ground. New York Times, 29 Apr. 2021 The total wasn’t enough to dig the Patels out of their financial hole. Esther Fung, WSJ, 20 Apr. 2021 Trying to keep everyone healthy and safe, spirits high, and the world afloat during a global pandemic has been a little bit like trying to dig a 200,000-ton ship out of a sandbank and push it through a very thin passage. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, 29 Mar. 2021 Lawmakers spent $5 trillion to dig the nation out of the economic hole created by the virus, and almost as a political aftershock, enacted an expansion of the social safety net larger than any seen since the creation of Medicare nearly 60 years ago. David E. Sanger, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Mar. 2021 Trice grabbed a shovel late and tried to dig his team out of that hole. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 27 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Exercising the caution of an archaeologist on a dig, Biondo and his team used small pry bars and light hammers to uncover design details long concealed. Arielle Dollinger, House Beautiful, 3 June 2021 Fourteen scholars, including researchers from Yale University and Norwegian institutions, traveled to the island for the dig, which began on April 21 and is scheduled to continue through the end of June. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 June 2021 But even still, some saw Blake's comment as a subtle dig at the show. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, 13 May 2021 Some interpreted her post as a dig at Musk, whom Forbes named the world's richest person earlier this year with a net worth of $199.9 billion as of February. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, 2 May 2021 Some edgers may allow for a deeper dig, known as trenching, which is useful for homeowners who need to bury cables or simply want a more pronounced boundary in certain areas, such as along a flowerbed. Anthony Marcusa, chicagotribune.com, 4 Apr. 2021 After a successful first dig and a day in Yellowstone, the two arrived in Arkansas on May 7, hoping to find a needle in a haystack. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, 30 May 2021 On April 5, 2020, PenPencilDraw posted its first graphic on Twitter, taking a dig at the short notice that was given before the lockdown. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 25 May 2021 Hardly an episode goes by without a dig at overweight people, a running joke that forced Cox to keep crawling into a fat suit for flashback scenes. Neal Justin, Star Tribune, 24 May 2021

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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Learn More About dig

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

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dig.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dig. Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on dig

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dig

Nglish: Translation of dig for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dig for Arabic Speakers


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