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

The excavations on the Heath in 1894 were short-lived: Read swiftly determined that there were, in fact, no remains of the Icenic queen, or anyone else, in the mound. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "The Brexit Warnings to Be Found in Sheep Grazing in a London Park," 3 Sep. 2019 Her films — searing excavations of the past with a fierce gaze on the present — mix Western sensibilities with an intricate understanding of Chinese culture and the communist leadership that has ruled the country since 1949. Jeffrey Fleishmanstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "She was born into China’s one-child policy. Now, she’s unearthing its ghosts," 9 Aug. 2019 Mayor Marty Walsh says city archaeologist Joe Bagley has launched the first historical excavations in the neighborhood. USA TODAY, "Ink library, parking barnacles, lunar training grounds: News from around our 50 states," 9 July 2019 The excavation of the site began in 2015, and more than 1,000 square meters have been exposed to enable the identification. sun-sentinel.com, "Archaeologists say they located city where David found refuge," 9 July 2019 The new study looks at samples which date back to the 19th century when three-dimensionally preserved mineralized arthropods were discovered during a mining excavation in the Quercy region of South-Central France. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Fossils Show Ancient Horrifying Xenomorph-Style Insects," 29 Aug. 2018 His remains were discovered during highway excavation in South Carolina in the 1980s. Thomas Farragher, BostonGlobe.com, "Creating a resting place befitting a hero," 25 May 2018 Teams soon will start digging similar excavation units inside and outside the famed Alamo church. Scott Huddleston, ExpressNews.com, "Alamo’s oldest wall being studied in ‘unprecedented’ digs," 13 Aug. 2019 Meticulously observed and expansively researched, Broom’s inquiry is an excavation told in four parts. Lynell George, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Sarah M. Broom shows her New Orleans in ‘The Yellow House’," 9 Aug. 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

8 Sep 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

Comments on excavation

What made you want to look up excavation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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