\ 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 Banks, too, have sought to persuade customers to dig between their couch cushions. Jennifer Surane, Bloomberg.com, "America’s Casinos Are Desperate for More Quarters," 4 Sep. 2020 Vampires aren't the only creatures of the night who dig on coffins. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, "20 spooktacular Halloween decorations you can get on sale," 29 Aug. 2020 To take care of the problem for real, the firefighters on the ground might cut down the tree, and break it up, and stir up the soil to make sure everything is out, and dig lines around it. Rob Verger, Popular Science, "How aerial firefighters battle blazes from the skies," 27 Aug. 2020 But dig down a little more deeply into the numbers and Biden's lead looks far more tenuous. Damon Linker, TheWeek, "Is Joe Biden's polling advantage weaker than it appears?," 26 Aug. 2020 Underminer project seeks a robot that can autonomously dig large tunnels. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Military Is Building a Tunneling Earthworm," 28 May 2020 Use a spading fork to dig tubers on a sunny day when the soil is dry. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "A Guide to Growing Sweet Potatoes in Your Backyard," 21 May 2020 For example, the badger can dig into a squirrel’s den, which scares the animal and allows the coyote to chase it, National Geographic reports. Lily Katzman, Smithsonian Magazine, "Watch a Coyote and Badger Hunt Their Prey Together," 10 Feb. 2020 But those who dig a little deeper into the town will find a surprising number of hiking trails that lead to beautiful outdoor destinations. oregonlive, "4 hikes to explore around Camas, a surprising natural escape in the suburbs," 22 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Trump also got in a dig at Democratic Joe Biden for not traveling to Wisconsin during the Democratic National Convention. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Live RNC coverage: Trump to make multiple appearances during first day of the Republican National Convention," 25 Aug. 2020 Dinosaur Adventure is also selling $29 adventure packs, which include souvenirs, such as, a backpack, kid-size T-shirt, cotton candy bag, hatch egg, dig tools, toy and coloring kit. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "About 100 life-size dinosaurs are coming to Waukesha. Here's what to know about Dinosaur Adventure Drive-Thru.," 25 Aug. 2020 Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban took a shot at Fox News's Tucker Carlson over ratings, but his dig didn't tell the whole story. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Mark Cuban takes ratings dig at Tucker Carlson that doesn’t tell the whole story," 11 Aug. 2020 That night, with guards posted at the dig, the two researchers barely slept. Myrto Papadopoulos, Smithsonian Magazine, "The King and the Conqueror," 8 June 2020 Pelosi told the Washington Post that Markey’s campaign crossed a line with a recent ad that included a dig at the Kennedy family dynasty. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Odds rise for sweeping Democratic climate legislation," 21 Aug. 2020 Nagy even jogged over from team drills to inject a dig. Colleen Kane, chicagotribune.com, "The key to energizing Bears wide receivers and defensive backs at training camp? An ‘authentic’ WWE championship belt, of course.," 19 Aug. 2020 On Friday, the show responded to the apparent dig by tweeting a video featuring Marge herself. Jodi Guglielmi, PEOPLE.com, "Marge Simpson Responds to Trump Adviser’s Kamala Harris Dig: I Feel 'Disrespected'," 14 Aug. 2020 Now, the creators of The Simpsons are letting Marge respond to the dig. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Marge from The Simpsons is 'pissed off' at Trump advisor for Kamala Harris jab," 14 Aug. 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

7 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dig.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dig. Accessed 19 Sep. 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

Nglish: Translation of dig for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dig for Arabic Speakers

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