ex·​ca·​va·​tor | \ˈek-skə-ˌvā-tər \

Definition of excavator 

: one that excavates especially : a power-operated shovel

Examples of excavator in a Sentence

The excavators found ancient tools at the site.

Recent Examples on the Web

One day late last week, 19 bulldozers, four road graders, six excavators and about a dozen water tenders were assigned to make repairs at the Mendocino Complex Fire, Meyers said. Jonathan J. Cooper, Fox News, "Firefighting mars the earth. California crews are fixing it," 15 Aug. 2018 The teams and one excavator arrived after dark Tuesday to investigate. Todd Pitman, The Seattle Times, "In quake-hit Indonesia, a challenge to recover the dead," 7 Aug. 2018 President Rodrigo Duterte was present in Manila recently as over 100 Vespa scooters, a Harley-Davidson and and several other motorcycles and SUVs were destroyed by an excavator. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "Philippine government crushes over 100 illegally-imported motorcycles," 13 June 2018 Large excavators and other construction equipment was used to demolish part of the home during the search for the bodies. Adam Ferrise, cleveland.com, "Fourth body found inside Cleveland home after fire, officials say," 30 Jan. 2018 One way the tariffs will squeeze farmers, landscapers and construction firms is by raising the price of excavators and loaders made by Bobcat, which uses attachments imported from China. Author: Paul Wiseman, Josh Boakap, Anchorage Daily News, "US-China trade war elevates the risks to the global economy," 7 July 2018 Marty Pearl/Special to Courier Journal The stadium rendering was held up by a pair of hydraulic excavators. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Soccer stadium start signals new possibilities for Possibility City," 28 June 2018 But the excavators and bulldozers grading the large lot where the work is ongoing are expected to continue on the site for another two weeks. Sara Sneath, NOLA.com, "Frogs that burn your skin and are invading Audubon: this week's coastal news," 28 Apr. 2018 Floating excavators prepare an underwater trench for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline near Lubmin, Germany. Emre Peker, WSJ, "Trump Slams Germany Over Gas Imports From Russia," 11 July 2018

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

circa 1815, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for excavator

excavate + -or entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near excavator

ex cathedra







Statistics for excavator

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for excavator

The first known use of excavator was circa 1815

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English Language Learners Definition of excavator

: a person who digs up things that have been buried for a long time


ex·​ca·​va·​tor | \ˈek-skə-ˌvāt-ər \

Medical Definition of excavator 

: an instrument used to open bodily cavities (as in the teeth) or remove material from them

More from Merriam-Webster on excavator

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with excavator

Spanish Central: Translation of excavator

Comments on excavator

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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