Definition of excavate
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
: to make excavations
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.
Origin and Etymology of excavate
Latin excavatus, past participle of excavare, from ex- + cavare to make hollow — more at cavatina
First Known Use: 1599
EXCAVATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of excavate for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of excavate for Students
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.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up excavate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).