ex·​ca·​va·​tor | \ ˈek-skə-ˌvā-tər How to pronounce excavator (audio) \

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

The contractor will use heavy construction equipment such as dump trucks, excavators and bulldozers to remove trees, vegetation and excavated soil. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Flood Control District project under way in west Houston," 13 June 2019 Most of the excavators have been volunteers, including many from the Dallas Paleontological Society. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Fossils of oddball crocodile relative found in Texas suburb," 10 June 2019 An island-wide blackout hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday after an excavator accidentally downed a transmission line, officials said, as the U.S. territory struggles to repair an increasingly unstable power grid nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria. Danica Coto, BostonGlobe.com, "Excavator blamed for island-wide blackout in Puerto Rico," 19 Apr. 2018 Then, workers had to use excavators and dump trucks to compact the debris below the new highway into an embankment. Jim Carlton, WSJ, "As Big Sur Roadway Reopens, Businesses Eagerly Await Surge in Visitors," 18 July 2018 Police blow up excavators in southwestern Colombia, near the community of Barbacoas. Jim Wyss And Kyra Gurney, miamiherald, "Dirty gold is the new cocaine in Colombia — and it’s just as bloody," 16 Jan. 2018 Eight large excavators were being used to clear the debris from Montecito Creek, Tom Fayram, the deputy director of the county's flood control district, said. CBS News, "Southern California mudslides: 20 dead after crews recover body," 14 Jan. 2018 The new team of excavators is being trained under the expertise and tutelage of Marina Elliott and Becca Peixotto. Lydia Pyne, Ars Technica, "Rising Star found a new species—now it wants to find a new way for paleoanthropology," 20 Dec. 2018 Over the course of the first field season, all of the excavators—underground astronauts, a term the media seized on—took turns on shift. Lydia Pyne, Ars Technica, "Rising Star found a new species—now it wants to find a new way for paleoanthropology," 20 Dec. 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

17 Jun 2019

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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 How to pronounce excavator (audio) \

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 move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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