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 As the claw of an excavator knocked into the corner of Beacon Hill Elementary, sending bricks tumbling to the ground below, Laryn Nelson let out a jubilant cheer. Liz Teitz, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio parents, school officials celebrate demolition of historical Beacon Hill Elementary," 24 July 2019 In late June, excavators unearthed the safe during construction of a new school building for the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, which is connected to the Anshe Emet Synagogue. Eliza Fawcett, chicagotribune.com, "Mysterious cannonball safe unearthed in parking lot of Lakeview synagogue," 10 July 2019 The open-air museum features five gigantic excavators that appear to be right out of a sci-fi movie. Martin Kirchner, National Geographic, "In Germany, industrial sites are now artful enclaves," 10 May 2019 Officers say three other people were chained to three excavators with their arms encased in steel pipes up to their elbows. USA TODAY, "Disney surprise, foreign feral hogs, porous pavement: News from around our 50 states," 13 Sep. 2019 Its star attraction is the Racehorse, a 500-by-100-foot excavator. Martin Kirchner, National Geographic, "In Germany, industrial sites are now artful enclaves," 10 May 2019 One of those guard posts is on Arrowhead Hill, according to South Korean defense officials, just a few hundred feet from where South Korean excavators will search for the war dead. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "Old Enemies Meet Again on the Battlefield, This Time to Recover the Dead," 12 Feb. 2019 Their whole stand could have fit in the footprint of Komatsu’s giant excavator. Andrew Curry, WIRED, "One Boy’s Dream Vacation to See Giant Construction Equipment," 26 June 2019 Knowing the history of the area, Duran set out on a two-week dig accompanied by Michael Kjelland, an experienced excavator and professor at Mayville State University in North Dakota. Amanda Jackson, CNN, "College student unearths 65 million-year-old Triceratops skull," 24 July 2019

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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Statistics for excavator

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for excavator

The first known use of excavator was circa 1815

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How to pronounce excavator (audio)

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

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