excavate

verb
ex·​ca·​vate | \ ˈek-skə-ˌvāt How to pronounce excavate (audio) \
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

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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 That is to excavate ash out of unlined pits and move it into dry, lined storage. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, "Other states are making utilities dig up toxic coal ash. Indiana is letting it sit there.," 11 Feb. 2021 The 29-year-old man who survived a blizzard in the Sierra last week by hunkering down in his pickup truck is seeking help to excavate the vehicle, which remains buried under several feet of snow in the wilderness. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, "Tahoe blizzard survivor's truck is still stuck in deep snow - family seeking help digging it out," 5 Feb. 2021 Just before the outbreak of the World War II, a small-time archeologist was hired by a local woman to excavate her land. Lindsey Bahr, Star Tribune, "Review: Buried treasure, impending war and loss in 'The Dig'," 13 Jan. 2021 His job had been to excavate the bomb shelters and basements to remove the rotting corpses before the entire city started to stink of human putrefaction. Rachel Lance, Smithsonian Magazine, "The New Explosive Theory About What Doomed the Crew of the ‘Hunley’," 10 Mar. 2020 Resolution Copper will use block cave mining to excavate ore 7,000 ft underground. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "John McCain’s Apache Land Grab Is Finally Happening," 15 Jan. 2021 The wreck’s impending degradation and collapse is at the center of a controversial push by RMST to excavate artifacts from inside of the ship. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Court Case Alleges Submarine Collision With Wreck of the Titanic Went Unreported," 5 Feb. 2020 One aspect of the agreement was a promise not to excavate the Tomb of Daniel, which locals feared would incur divine wrath. Rue Des Archives/album, History Magazine, "This French archaeologist broke the law—by wearing pants," 17 Dec. 2020 Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes and Lily James star in the story of a wealthy widow who hires an archaeologist to excavate burial mounds on her estate, uncovering history-changing treasure. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Everything new on Netflix in January: 'Cobra Kai' premieres Season 3, David Spade hosts 'Afterparty'," 17 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for excavate

Time Traveler

The first known use of excavate was in 1599

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Statistics for excavate

Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Excavate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excavate. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce excavate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce excavate (audio) \
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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