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

Other Words from excavation

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

Examples of excavation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Holy Fvck is a personal excavation, a spiritual journey that was a form of therapy. Cat Cardenas, SPIN, 21 Sep. 2022 But due to a lack of funds and relevant professionals, Gaza has usually invited international groups to help with the process of excavation and preservation. CNN, 20 Sep. 2022 Collaborating with McGovern's doctoral student Konrad Smiarowski, Hayeur Smith reviewed their excavation plan, a depiction of how the artifact layers were deposited over time. Francine Russo, Scientific American, 18 Sep. 2022 Most of the bodies were buried in individual graves marked with wooden crosses bearing numbers that approached 450, but investigators said some graves likely contained more than one and that a large excavation may have held numerous bodies. Stephen Kalin, WSJ, 16 Sep. 2022 Scientists began excavation of the site to remove the entire remains from the hill. Orlando Mayorquin, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2022 Demolition finished up last spring and eight months of excavation and shoring has started, which will involve removing 57,000 cubic yards of soil, according to Casey Curran, senior superintendent with Lendlease Construction. J.k. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 Sep. 2022 The vessel, named in honor of the French archaeologist who led the world’s first underwater excavation in 1907, also has enough room and storage capacity for 28 people to live for ten days at sea, per the Art Newspaper’s Dale Berning Sawa. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Sep. 2022 More excavation is needed to confirm whether the corner wall belonged to King David’s palace. Marion Fischel, Sun Sentinel, 1 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for excavation

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The first known use of excavation was circa 1611

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Last Updated

26 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Excavation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excavation. Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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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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