excavate

verb
ex·ca·vate | \ˈek-skə-ˌvāt \
excavated; excavating

Definition of excavate 

transitive verb

1 : to form a cavity or hole in

2 : to form by hollowing out

3 : to dig out and remove

4 : to expose to view by or as if by digging away a covering excavate the remains of a temple

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Synonyms for excavate

Synonyms

dig, shovel

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Examples of excavate in a Sentence

They excavated an ancient city. It is the first site to be excavated in this area. They began excavating the backyard for their new pool. The excess dirt was carefully excavated.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In a stellar performance, the baritone excavated lovable humanity. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "A little operatic help for newspapers: ‘La Gazzetta’ couldn't be better timed," 30 June 2018 The team excavated around the broken leg, leaving it on a kind of pedestal of earth. Michael E. Ruane, ajc, "‘Limb pit’ found on Civil War battlefield in Virginia tells of horror stories," 19 June 2018 Striving to connect the physical with the spiritual, St. Denis and Shawn excavated non-Western and indigenous forms. New York Times, "The Costumes in Modern Dance’s Attic," 19 June 2018 Thompson is also excavating parts the island that could offer more details about the Calusa’s interaction with the Spanish. National Geographic, "Ancient Native American King's House Rediscovered in Florida," 13 June 2018 On Friday, May 25, crews excavated an area around the small sinkhole on the north White House grounds. Betsy Klein, CNN, "Let it sink in: The White House sinkhole is no more," 29 May 2018 The emergency actions will excavate contaminated soil in residents’ yards, according to the EPA, and replace that material with clean fill. Craig Lyons, Post-Tribune, "EPA: Lead study and cleanup in Whiting, Hammond 'still a work in progress'," 24 May 2018 Construction crews completed excavating the collapse area, allowing the vacuum trucks to operate safely and remove more dirt from the collapse site, according to officials. Kelsey Mo, azcentral, "Excavation done at Phoenix airport drill-rig site; search for body goes on," 23 May 2018 Beneath a hill not far away from the amusements, Tencent, an internet giant, has finished excavating a bomb-proof cavern with five massive entrances. The Economist, "One of China’s poorest provinces wants to be a tech hub," 31 May 2018

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

1599, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for excavate

borrowed from Latin excavātus, past participle of excavāre "to hollow out, form a hole in," from ex- ex- entry 1 + cavāre "to make hollow, hollow out," verbal derivative of cavus "hollow, concave" — more at hole entry 1

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Statistics for excavate

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for excavate

The first known use of excavate was in 1599

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More Definitions for excavate

excavate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of excavate

: to uncover (something) by digging away and removing the earth that covers it

: to dig a large hole in (something)

: to form (a hole, tunnel, etc.) by digging

excavate

verb
ex·ca·vate | \ˈek-skə-ˌvāt \
excavated; excavating

Kids Definition of excavate

1 : to expose to view by digging away a covering They've excavated an ancient city.

2 : to hollow out : form a hole in Workers excavated the side of a hill.

3 : to make by hollowing out We must excavate a tunnel.

4 : to dig out and remove Miners excavate diamonds.

excavate

verb
ex·ca·vate | \ˈek-skə-ˌvāt \
excavated; excavating

Medical Definition of excavate 

transitive verb

: to form a cavity or hole in an excavated wisdom tooth

intransitive verb

: to make excavations or become hollowed out an area of infarction in soft tissue often tends to excavate

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Comments on excavate

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