ex·​ca·​va·​tion | \ ˌek-skə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce excavation (audio) \

Definition of excavation

1 : the action or process of excavating
2 : a cavity formed by cutting, digging, or scooping

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Other Words from excavation

excavational \ ˌek-​skə-​ˈvā-​shnəl How to pronounce excavational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of excavation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For Palestinian refugees from Yarmouk, the excavation of their cemetery, now pillaged and badly damaged, is the latest in a long series of painful episodes. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, "An Israeli soldier went MIA 37 years ago. International intrigue and DNA testing brought him home.," 11 July 2019 The Irish are often subjected to an ideological excavation of their independence. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "You’re Free on Independence Day," 4 July 2019 Craft a biographical portrait of a local character, pen a narrative about exploring Capri, or write a story on the excavation of Pompeii. National Geographic, "Italy & Greece High School Expedition," 12 June 2019 Behold the excavation of fossils belonging to a previously unknown human species and the first photograph of a black hole. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Of Hominins and the Stars," 12 Apr. 2019 The find was incredible and now that country can start a full excavation of the site to reclaim the history that was thought to be lost forever. Marisa Spyker, ajc, "This is where you’re most likely to find lost pirate treasure, according to the Cousteaus," 3 July 2018 Researchers stumbled upon the hand in a box after an excavation of a cemetery in Nyárlőrinc, a village in southern Hungary. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Why Was This Baby's Hand Mummified, But Not the Rest of Its Body?," 20 May 2018 The city is beginning excavation and stabilization efforts between Kemper Lane and Bains Street, said Casey Weldon, spokesperson for the city of Cincinnati. Rachel Berry, Cincinnati.com, "Columbia Parkway reopened, but NKY roads still closed after landslides," 25 June 2019 City spokeswoman Candice Mushatt says no human remains were found, and the city is seeking an archaeologist so excavation can continue. USA TODAY, "Whiskey webs, alien abductions, goldfish invasion: News from around our 50 states," 25 June 2019

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

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for excavation

borrowed from Latin excavātiōn-, excavātiō, from excavāre "to hollow out, excavate" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action

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Statistics for excavation

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for excavation

The first known use of excavation was circa 1611

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More Definitions for excavation


ex·​ca·​va·​tion | \ ˌek-skə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce excavation (audio) \

Kids Definition of excavation

1 : the act of excavating
2 : a hollow place formed by excavating


ex·​ca·​va·​tion | \ ˌek-skə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce excavation (audio) \

Medical Definition of excavation

1 : the action or process of excavating
2 : a cavity formed by or as if by cutting, digging, or scooping

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More from Merriam-Webster on excavation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with excavation

Spanish Central: Translation of excavation

Nglish: Translation of excavation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of excavation for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about excavation

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