dig

1 of 3

verb

dug ˈdəg How to pronounce dig (audio) ; digging

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

dig

2 of 3

noun

1
a
: 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

dig

3 of 3

abbreviation

digest

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
If not, take the initiative to dig deeper by answering questions like: How much of your identity is anchored in your job? Elaine Welteroth, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Feb. 2023 Jolene Alves, captain of administration for the Cumberland Police Department, admired Scarlett’s eagerness to dig for answers. Carlos R. Muñoz, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Feb. 2023 Some authorities have publicly criticized their counterparts for taking too long to dig into high-profile cases, with some even proposing revising the GDPR so major, large-scale investigations aren’t handled by one office alone. Catherine Stupp, WSJ, 1 Feb. 2023 If not, take the initiative to dig deeper by answering questions like: How much of your identity is anchored in your job? Elaine Welteroth, Washington Post, 31 Jan. 2023 Around the same time, some companies and foundations named after Nazis hired historians to dig into their honorees’ pasts. Lev Golinkin, CNN, 31 Jan. 2023 Chancellor Olaf Scholz, after demurring for weeks over sending Germany's Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, looks set to dig his heels in over providing fighter jets. Susie Blann, ajc, 30 Jan. 2023 Eventually, they were allowed to cross the river to dig the graves themselves. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, 30 Jan. 2023 Chancellor Olaf Scholz, after demurring for weeks over sending Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, looks set to dig his heels in over providing fighter jets. Susie Blann, Chicago Tribune, 30 Jan. 2023
Noun
One of her shadier comments was a dig at your husband being a sugar daddy. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, 6 May 2022 Goldberg's cohost, Joy Behar, reminded the ladies that Kardashian has power thanks to her 335 million followers on Instagram, though Sunny Hostin responded with a dig at the mogul's acting chops. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 8 Dec. 2022 But her jokes weren't directly related to this personal news — rather her first line took a dig at the AACTAs itself. Alicia Vrajlal, refinery29.com, 7 Dec. 2022 Harris took another dig at FTX, which owes over $3 billion to its 50 largest creditors, by saying his company was smart enough to not take on debt. Dallas News, 22 Nov. 2022 Troy Aikman, the commentator standing beside Buck, responded with a dig at the Hoosiers. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 27 Sep. 2022 Aloe Blacc was the host of the evening, starting the show with a dig at the Academy Awards for choosing not to televise best score, among other categories, live at the upcoming Oscars. Beatrice Verhoeven, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Mar. 2022 Beginning in 2020, volunteers have been assisting with the dig as part of a community archaeology project, known as Rendlesham Revealed. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Jan. 2022 In one of the treatment rooms at the spa, Karen, 58, chimed in on the drama with a dig at Gizelle, who organized the day in honor of pregnant costar Ashley Darby. Ally Mauch, PEOPLE.com, 25 July 2021 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

Middle English diggen

First Known Use

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near dig

Cite this Entry

“Dig.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dig. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

dig

1 of 2 verb
dug ˈdəg How to pronounce dig (audio) ; digging
1
a
: to turn up the soil (as with a spade or hoe)
b
: to hollow out or form by removing earth
dig a hole
2
: to uncover or search by or as if by turning up earth
dig potatoes
dig for gold
dig through books for help
3
: find out
dig up the facts
4
: prod entry 1 sense 1, poke
dug me in the ribs
5
a
: to pay attention to : notice
dig that hat
b
: understand sense 1a
you dig me?
c
: like entry 1 sense 1
I dig music
digger noun

dig

2 of 2 noun
1
2
: a harsh remark : gibe
3
: a place where scientists (as archaeologists or paleontologists) try to recover buried objects by digging
also : the process of digging for such objects

More from Merriam-Webster on dig

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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