\ 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 Shebib While other rappers were busy spitting over the hottest hip-hop beats of 2010, Drake was digging deeper. cleveland, "25 best samples in Drake songs," 18 Feb. 2020 Bloomberg has been digging into former Vice President Joe Biden's support among African American voters, which has fallen to 27% since December. Nikole Killion, CBS News, "Bloomberg endorsed by 3 Congressional Black Caucus members after stop-and-frisk apology," 13 Feb. 2020 This special edition of the show digs deep into the political lay of the land following the Iowa caucuses, which seem to have vaulted Texas to a more important place in the presidential nominating process. Scott Braddock, Houston Chronicle, "Listen: Special edition -- live election preview," 10 Feb. 2020 But his crew chief, Rodney Childers, is obviously digging it: The 2020 NASCAR season begins Sunday, February 16 with the Daytona 500. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "44-year-old Kevin Harvick explains why he signed NASCAR contract extension through 2023," 8 Feb. 2020 Excavators dug a vast flat field surrounded by concrete walls, fencing and barbed wire. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "On a Greek Island, Migrants and Locals Are Wary Neighbors," 7 Feb. 2020 In her latest opinion piece for the New York Times, Aisha Harris digs into Hollywood’s habit of embracing films that have a diversity dodge built in. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Stop making excuses for the lack of diversity in film," 6 Feb. 2020 A day after finishing off its 2020 recruiting class, South Alabama dug back into its offseason program on Thursday. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "South Alabama’s Steve Campbell on new S&C coach, recruiting, transfer portal, spring practice," 6 Feb. 2020 Because most of the groundwater is not potable, Kabul residents dig unregulated wells or buy expensive bottled water that clog waterways and festering roadside sewers. National Geographic, "In Afghanistan, climate change complicates future prospects for peace," 3 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Trump's remarks Wednesday night made a subtle dig at Newsom and other California Democrats. Stephanie Ebbs, ABC News, "Trump touts campaign promise fulfilled for California farmers in decision to divert water," 19 Feb. 2020 Gabby Curry had 15 digs for the Southeastern Conference champions. Kelly Ward, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville volleyball advances to Sweet 16 while Kentucky wins tournament opener," 6 Dec. 2019 Anjoilyn Vreeland served four aces and had 11 digs to help UAA. Anchorage Daily News, "UAA volleyball team stuns nationally ranked Western Washington in 5 thrilling sets," 15 Nov. 2019 Maddie Montanari had 10 kills and two blocks, while junior libero Cassidy Malley had 11 digs for Danvers. BostonGlobe.com, "Thanks to a 25-23, 25-14, 25-16 sweep of D-Y in a state semifinal at Rabouin Field House, Danvers advanced to the state final for the first time in program history. The Falcons will face Canton in the Division 2 state finals at 3 p.m. Saturday at Worcester State University.," 14 Nov. 2019 Karly Horn had 16 digs, while Caitlyn Walters had 15. Adam Lichtenstein, sun-sentinel.com, "Lake Worth Christian beats Seacrest Country Day to earn trip to 13th state championship match," 9 Nov. 2019 Tucker led way offensively with 12 kills and freshman libero Gabby Allen had 21 digs. Tim Schwartz, baltimoresun.com, "Reservoir volleyball sweeps Atholton to capture first region crown since 2007," 6 Nov. 2019 Minh Christensen led the Pioneers with 13 kills while Jack McEvoy had 20 digs and Ethan Miller dished out 22 assists. Lauren Green, Philly.com, "Monday's South Jersey roundup: Heck's hat trick leads Lenape girls' lacrosse over Cherokee," 1 May 2018 Carr amassed 713 kills, 583 digs, 86 aces and 53 blocks this season. Dennis Victory, al, "Mountain Brook’s Grace Carr named Gatorade state volleyball Player of the Year," 13 Jan. 2020

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

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dig.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dig. Accessed 26 Feb. 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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