\ 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

People started digging into their social media channels after the group posted some subs directed at Jeffree Star, who had just been outed for some past racist posts on his own social media. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Is This The Reason Why James Charles Is Losing Thousands Of Followers As We Speak?," 9 May 2019 Fosse/Verdon, however, digs deeper into their troubled dynamic. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Fosse/Verdon Proves It's Time to Cancel the Fragile Male Ego," 10 Apr. 2019 To pay one intern, John dug into the Kennedy family trust. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How Jackie Kennedy Helped John F. Kennedy, Jr. Start George Magazine," 10 Apr. 2019 Animals that are scared have been known to jump, dig, chew or claw their way out of holding areas. Rene Lynch, latimes.com, "Why you need to adopt or foster this Fourth of July," 29 June 2018 Now wrinkles dig into their faces, Sharp as the rain. Annika Neklason, The Atlantic, "What Donald Hall Understood About Death," 26 June 2018 Luckily, psychologists also happen to have some very useful tools for digging themselves out of a funk. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What 8 Psychologists Do to Get Through Their Crappiest Days," 21 Mar. 2019 Rolle started a GoFundMe on January 14 seeking $123,000 to dig herself out of the hole caused by Fyre Fest—and people are stepping up to help. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "The Fyre Festival Caterer Who Lost Her Life Savings Has Received Over $160K in Donations," 22 Jan. 2019 Throw in all the twists and turns as journalists dig into the matter and the testimony that will rivet the nation next week under the glare of television lights. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "The moral and political dilemma created by Kavanaugh's accuser," 18 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Bella isn’t the only one posting about their trip; The Weeknd showed off their luxe digs on his Instagram Stories and posted a cute video of Bella bravely jumping off a yacht into the beautiful blue water. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Bella Hadid and The Weekend Skip Coachella for a Tropical Vacation," 14 Apr. 2019 And, in a not-so-surprising twist, their new digs sound amazing. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "We Just Got a Bunch of Details About Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's New House," 10 Apr. 2019 Law finished with a team-high 11 kills, along with 8 digs and 2 blocks. Dan Mcloone, BostonGlobe.com, "Undefeated Taunton sweeps Newton South in volleyball," 13 June 2018 During her rookie season, the 5-foot-7 athlete played in 21 matches and compiled 231 kills, 26 service aces, 196 digs and six blocks. Mark Iandolo, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Where are they now," 6 Apr. 2018 Consultancies say they are trusted advisers—a dig at agency groups, whose media-buying arms have come under fire from advertisers for inappropriate ad placement and undisclosed fees. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Tech Consultants Are the New Mad Men," 9 Nov. 2018 Head led West Orange with 343 kills, 245 digs and 78 aces as a standout in every rotation. Buddy Collings, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Varsity Awards: Alana Wolfberg, Joey Silva win top athlete honors," 16 June 2018 For the season, Holzman compiled 744 kills, 128 blocks and 440 digs and was named to the MaxPreps All-America Team after being named to the third team in 2016. Jim Derry, NOLA.com, "Mt. Carmel's Ellie Holzman again named Gatorade Louisiana Volleyball Player of Year," 16 Jan. 2018 And that isn’t (just) a dig on Tucker’s parenting abilities. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Despite What Tucker Carlson Thinks, Women Aren't Something to Possess," 19 Mar. 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

17 May 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).


highly pertinent or appropriate

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