un·​earth | \ˌən-ˈərth \
unearthed; unearthing; unearths

Definition of unearth 

transitive verb

1 : to dig up out of or as if out of the earth : exhume unearth treasure unearth an old photo album

2 : to make known or public : bring to light unearth a scandal

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Synonyms & Antonyms for unearth


disinter, exhume


bury, entomb, inhume, inter, tomb

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Choose the Right Synonym for unearth

discover, ascertain, determine, unearth, learn mean to find out what one did not previously know. discover may apply to something requiring exploration or investigation or to a chance encounter. discovered the source of the river ascertain implies effort to find the facts or the truth proceeding from awareness of ignorance or uncertainty. attempts to ascertain the population of the region determine emphasizes the intent to establish the facts definitely or precisely. unable to determine the origin of the word unearth implies bringing to light something forgotten or hidden. unearth old records learn may imply acquiring knowledge with little effort or conscious intention (as by simply being told) or it may imply study and practice. I learned her name only today learning Greek

Examples of unearth in a Sentence

An old document was unearthed from the files. They unearthed evidence that he had accepted bribes.

Recent Examples on the Web

An easier way Lord was one of several researchers who unearthed a variety of serious vulnerabilities and weaknesses in Supermicro motherboard firmware (PDF) in 2013 and 2014. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "If Supermicro boards were so bug-ridden, why would hackers ever need implants?," 11 Oct. 2018 Who knows what might be unearthed in the closing months? Ailene Voisin, sacbee, "A stunner for Kings, but no splash. Fox, youth must go full speed for moves to pay off," 8 Feb. 2018 On top of that, just using the mobile app to find more features or unearth new skills to use and games to play is a bit of a chore. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Anki Vector review: modern-day Tamagotchi," 5 Nov. 2018 And part of the concern about nominating Kavanaugh had to do with unearthing some of the Bush administration's controversies, which may not just be about Paul. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "4 big questions about Brett Kavanaugh," 10 July 2018 But, when a revelation unearths Martin’s ultimate transgressions, his American Dream shatters. Kt Hawbaker, chicagotribune.com, "Interrobang, now in residence at Rivendell Theatre, announces 2018-19 season," 29 June 2018 Starting in February 2015, his team dug about 20 test pits, unearthing modern debris, colonial porcelain, and, finally, the basalt slabs of a Mexica period floor. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital," 21 June 2018 The movie runs along two parallel tracks, with older Jennifer returning from a work trip abroad to discover that her mother (Ellen Burstyn) has unearthed a story that Jennifer wrote for an English class as a child. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The Tale, about a teen molested by a coach, is an unexpectedly vital film," 24 May 2018 That echoes documents which people have unearthed in the past. The Economist, "A Samsung executive is accused of union-busting," 19 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for unearth

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unearth

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

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More Definitions for unearth



English Language Learners Definition of unearth

: to find (something) that was buried in the earth

: to find or discover (something) that was hidden or lost


un·​earth | \ˌən-ˈərth \
unearthed; unearthing

Kids Definition of unearth

1 : to bring up from underground : dig up Pirates unearthed the buried treasure.

2 : to bring to light : uncover Reporters unearthed a scandal.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unearth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unearth

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unearth

Spanish Central: Translation of unearth

Nglish: Translation of unearth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unearth for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unearth

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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