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 Van Dam found that workers in several occupations were more than 99 percent men — including oil and gas roustabouts, mining-excavator operators and brick and stone masons — as of 2019, the most recent year for which Census Bureau data is available. Washington Post, 17 Sep. 2021 The excavator operator, finding nothing buried along the outside of the cornerstone, began to push on the wall above it. oregonlive, 18 Aug. 2021 Mariduena says Dobrik had obtained permission from the excavator owner to operate it after an hour and a half of training, but that was about it. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 23 June 2021 Dave called for some equipment, and soon, an excavator arrived. Bryan Anselm/redux For Cnn, CNN, 15 Dec. 2021 An excavator is capable of extracting 240,000 tons of coal a day. Washington Post, 26 Aug. 2021 The bomb also knocked over an excavator and damaged several cars in the area, according to the release. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, 1 Dec. 2021 After the short news conference, an excavator took aim at a south wall for a ceremonial assault. Carole Carlson, chicagotribune.com, 1 Nov. 2021 Six years ago, an excavator punched a hole in an earthen levee, sending a torrent of San Pablo Bay water across 1,000 acres of ranchland. Julie Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 Oct. 2021

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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Time Traveler for excavator

Time Traveler

The first known use of excavator was circa 1815

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Statistics for excavator

Last Updated

1 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Excavator.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excavator. Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for excavator



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


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