verb (1)
\ ˈdrej How to pronounce dredge (audio) \
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 \ ˈdre-​jər How to pronounce dredger (audio) \ noun

Verb (2)

dredger noun

Examples of dredge in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And this isn't the first time these accusations have been dredged up by Brown's political opponents. Fox News, "Ann Coulter on left's meltdown over Kavanaugh allegation; will Carter Page finally learn why the FBI spied on him?," 19 Sep. 2018 The madtom, for instance, is a bottom-feeding catfish that has seen its numbers drop as the riverbeds were dredged to accommodate shipping traffic. Michigan Wildlife Council, Detroit Free Press, "Polishing a gem: Plan aims for St. Clair-Detroit River system improvements," 10 July 2018 Environmental groups have looked with suspicion on the dearth of email correspondence from Pruitt that has been dredged up in open-records requests. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Scott Pruitt likes snail mail — just like Trump," 5 July 2018 Dip chicken thighs in egg mixture, then dredge through panko, pressing to adhere. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Crunchy Deviled Chicken," 21 Oct. 2016 Those big ships offer big profits and efficiencies, so much so that ports have been dredging channels and deepening docks to accommodate their girth. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Offshore Mega-Terminals Are Coming Because Oil Supertankers Are Too Big for Our Ports," 14 Sep. 2018 The oldest were built by Matlacha's original residents: squatters who occupied the island created when Matlacha Pass was dredged in the 1920s. Bonnie Gross, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Explore Florida's Lee County: Matlacha evolves from tiny fishing village to artsy town," 6 May 2018 The state Department of Environmental Protection said the inlet, one of the widest at the Shore, had never been dredged before. Joseph A. Gambardello, Philly.com, "Jersey Shore's Little Egg Inlet reopens to boaters," 16 May 2018 In towns and villages all along the Mekong River and many other rivers around the country, banks undermined by dredging are collapsing into the water, taking with them farm fields, fish ponds, shops, and homes. Vince Beiser, National Geographic, "Dramatic Photos Show How Sand Mining Threatens a Way of Life in Southeast Asia," 15 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Remove chicken from refrigerator and dredge in new flour mixture to coat liberally. Kathleen Squires, WSJ, "How to Host a Dinner Like a Pro," 14 Feb. 2019 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

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

8 May 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 How to pronounce dredge (audio) \
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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