verb (1)
\ ˈdrej \
dredged; dredging

Definition of dredge

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to dig, gather, or pull out with or as if with a dredge (see dredge entry 2) dredging oysters in the bay often used with up dredge up silt from the canal bottom
b civil engineering : to deepen (a waterway) with a machine that removes earth usually by buckets on an endless chain or a suction tube : to deepen with a dredge (see dredge entry 2 sense 2)
2 : to bring to light by deep searching often used with up dredging up memories

intransitive verb

1 : to use a dredge dredging for oysters
2 : to search deeply



Definition of dredge (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an apparatus usually in the form of an oblong iron frame with an attached bag net used especially for gathering fish and shellfish
2 civil engineering : a machine for removing earth usually by buckets on an endless chain or a suction tube
3 nautical : a barge used in dredging


verb (2)
dredged; dredging

Definition of dredge (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to coat by sprinkling (as with flour) dredge the chicken in flour The fish is dredged with a cornmeal mixture and fried.

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Other Words from dredge

Verb (1)

dredger noun

Verb (2)

dredger noun

Examples of dredge in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Did Carver truly dredge up the nasty secret at the core of Borden’s heroism? Emily Bobrow, WSJ, "‘Dark Water’ Review: Unfathomable Depths," 28 Dec. 2018 Afterward, the county dredged the creek as an emergency measure, seeking to prevent it from flooding again. Lizzie Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, "Stinson Beach parking lot still crumbling after storm — and fix is uncertain," 10 Apr. 2018 Working with his staff and City Council, Leiken created strategic economic development and housing plans and implemented an infrastructure plan which is repaving Shaker's roads, dredging its lakes and rebuilding its 100-year-old sewer system. Karen Farkas, cleveland.com, "Cuyahoga County Council slams proposals to offer perks to lure and keep top employees," 20 Feb. 2018 Use dry, heat-proof tongs or wooden chopsticks to transfer dredged chicken pieces to hot oil, taking care not to splash and making sure pot is not overcrowded. Gabriella Gershenson, WSJ, "The Greatest New Year’s Menus on the Planet (at Least We Think So)," 26 Dec. 2018 Sandquist suggested the clean-up should also include dredging the most toxic sediment, which is the deepest part of the lake nearest the dam, and disposing of the sediment in a way that will keep the toxins out of the creek and the groundwater. Phil Diehl, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Lagoon foundation renews call for lake clean-up," 31 Jan. 2018 The teaser shows off Rand (Finn Jones) walking down a street in New York City with Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), which dredges up old memories of his time at K’un-L’un: a brutal fight. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "A new teaser for Netflix’s Iron Fist teases an iconic costume," 28 July 2018 On Friday and Saturday, Trump mocked Democrats for their lawsuit, suggesting Republicans could use it to their advantage and dredging up allegations against the committee's former chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Maegan Vazquez, CNN, "Tom Perez defends DNC lawsuit against Trump campaign, Russia, Assange," 22 Apr. 2018 Beijing has enlarged many of these smaller features by dredging sand from the sea floor, creating larger islands equipped with radars, guns, missiles, ports capable of handling warships, and military-grade airfields. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A Chinese Military Official Suggests Ramming U.S. Warships in the South China Sea," 10 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

PortMiami's first dredge began in 1993, when it was deepened to 42 feet. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "Despite recent dredge, PortMiami still can't fit some large ships. New project in the works," 8 July 2018 Hennig, of 25 Baker Street, an engineer aboard a dredge anchored off Hunters Point, was shot when military guards and other officials at the naval installation sought to have lights aboard the craft turned out. Johnny Miller, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF police officer shot to death in gunbattle in 1968," 14 June 2018 Waterlogged soils had to be restrained from back-sliding into the pit, and ancient cypress logs would jam suction dredges and delay work. Richard Campanella, NOLA.com, "The radical idea of connecting the river to the lake: Industrial Canal was an engineering marvel," 9 Jan. 2018 The problem with the dredge completed in 2015: timing, said Port Director Juan Kuryla. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "Despite recent dredge, PortMiami still can't fit some large ships. New project in the works," 8 July 2018 The pulse of that year’s song of the summer will course its way to you as quickly as the humidity assails those of us in the swampy dredges of New York. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Cardi B’s ‘I Like It’ Is the Song of the Summer," 29 May 2018 Remove tomato slices from buttermilk and dredge in cornmeal mixture. San Antonio Express-News, "Recipe: Hoppin John’s Fried Green Tomatoes with Dixie Sauce," 23 May 2018 Webb says great care is being taken not to disturb the area, including not using suction dredge to remove the sand. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "Divers prove wreck off NC is ship that vanished in 1838 with Southeast's wealthiest | Charlotte Observer," 9 May 2018 One at a time, dredge cutlets in flour, shake off excess, then dip in egg, turning to coat, and allow excess to drip off. Sarah Karnasiewicz, WSJ, "Why Cutlets Are What Everyone Wants for Dinner," 12 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dredge.' 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 dredge

Verb (1)

1508, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1596, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dredge

Noun and Verb (1)

perhaps from Old English *drecge; akin to Old English dræge dragnet, dragan to draw

Verb (2)

obsolete dredge, noun, sweetmeat, from Middle English drage, drege, from Anglo-French dragee, modification of Latin tragemata sweetmeats, from Greek tragēmata, plural of tragēma sweetmeat, from trōgein to gnaw

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Statistics for dredge

Last Updated

13 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dredge

The first known use of dredge was in 1508

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More Definitions for dredge


\ ˈdrej \
dredged; dredging

Kids Definition of dredge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to dig or gather with or as if with a device dragged along the bottom of a body of water dredged the river dredging for oysters

Other Words from dredge

dredger noun



Kids Definition of dredge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a heavy iron frame with a net attached to be dragged along the bottom of a body of water
2 : a machine or boat used in dragging along the bottom of a body of water
3 : a machine for removing earth usually by buckets on an endless chain or by a suction tube

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More from Merriam-Webster on dredge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dredge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dredge

Spanish Central: Translation of dredge

Nglish: Translation of dredge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dredge for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dredge

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