ex·​hume | \ ig-ˈzüm, igz-ˈyüm, iks-ˈ(h)yüm\
exhumed; exhuming

Definition of exhume 

transitive verb

1 : disinter exhume a body
2 : to bring back from neglect or obscurity exhumed a great deal of information from the archives

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from exhume

exhumation \ ˌeks-​(h)yü-​ˈmā-​shən , ˌeg-​zü-​, ˌegz-​yü-​ \ noun
exhumer \ ig-​ˈzü-​mər , igz-​ˈyü-​, iks-​ˈ(h)yü-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for exhume


disinter, unearth


bury, entomb, inhume, inter, tomb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of exhume in a Sentence

the remains of John Paul Jones were exhumed in Paris and transported with great ceremony to the U.S. Naval Academy

Recent Examples on the Web

War victims from both sides were exhumed in 1959, taken to Franco’s work-in-progress and then reburied, many without their families’ knowledge. Jeannette Neumann, WSJ, "Spain’s Plan to Exhume Franco Unearths Divisions," 6 Sep. 2018 Out of the 95 burial sites identified thus far, 48 have been exhumed, according to a statement from the school district. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Texas construction workers discover remains of 95 African-American laborers from early 20th century," 18 July 2018 In 2005, Emmett’s body was exhumed by the FBI and an autopsy was performed. Deneen L. Brown, Washington Post, "Emmett Till’s mother opened his casket and sparked the civil rights movement," 12 July 2018 The group continues to wage an insurgency from remote hideouts, but the work of exhuming mass graves marks an effort for Iraq to move beyond its recent troubled history. Sune Engel Rasmussen, WSJ, "Islamic State Left 200 Mass Graves in Iraq, U.N. Says," 6 Nov. 2018 After discovering 95 graves, archaeologists began exhuming the bodies in June. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "A Mass Grave of Former Slaves Was Unearthed in Texas," 20 July 2018 The prosecution case hinges on testimony from forensic pathologists who examined Noreen Rudd’s exhumed body in 2013 and declared her death a homicide. George Houde, chicagotribune.com, "Wife's death in '73 was first thought to have resulted from car crash; now husband going on trial, accused of killing her," 22 June 2018 But just as work to exhume and identify bodies continues slowly, so does a partial return to the routine for residents of Raqqa, where 300,000 lived before the Syrian conflict began. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "To Rebuild a Syrian City, Men First Dig Up and Rebury the Dead," 26 Oct. 2018 This would mean Claire would have to be exhumed and transferred to another one. Abigail Van Buren, Houston Chronicle, "Talk of remarriage triggers questions about burial plots," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exhume.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of exhume

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exhume

Middle English, from Medieval Latin exhumare, from Latin ex out of + humus earth — more at ex-, humble

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about exhume

Statistics for exhume

Last Updated

23 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exhume

The first known use of exhume was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for exhume



English Language Learners Definition of exhume

: to remove (a body) from the place where it is buried

ex·​hume | \ igz-ˈ(y)üm, iks-ˈ(h)yüm \
exhumed; exhuming

Medical Definition of exhume 

: disinter the body was exhumed for an autopsy

Other Words from exhume

exhumation \ ˌeks-​(h)yü-​ˈmā-​shən , ˌegz-​(y)ü-​ \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on exhume

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exhume

Spanish Central: Translation of exhume

Nglish: Translation of exhume for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exhume for Arabic Speakers

Comments on exhume

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


a person who helps groups work together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!