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

The subpoena aims to unearth documents the House has held back from public view, citing concerns about betraying the confidence of witnesses. Richard Ruelas, azcentral, "Don Shooter subpoenas secret documents in the House sexual harassment investigation," 12 July 2018 Local authorities were alerted, the rocket removed, and a report generated — and seemingly forgotten until 1994, when the report was unearthed and put in a file. Dugan Arnett, BostonGlobe.com, "On tranquil Nantucket, a new worry about what’s under the sand," 3 July 2018 And to his surprise Miller has been intrigued by some of what's been unearthed by the sonic spelunking. Gary Graff, Billboard, "Steve Miller Reveals Plans for Joint Live Album With Tourmate Peter Frampton," 15 June 2018 The discoveries in Berlin of the many smaller unexploded devices rarely make headlines but on occasion, such as when a 500- or 1,000-pound bomb is unearthed, an entire neighborhood of the bustling German capital city is brought to a standstill. Erik Kirschbaum, latimes.com, "In a city littered with World War II-era explosives, Berlin's bomb squad is always on alert," 14 June 2018 Key examples of this include Andre Gray, where his old tweets containing homophobia were unearthed resulting in a ban. SI.com, "David de Gea Composes Questionable Tweet Following Manchester United's FA Cup VAR Incident," 18 Feb. 2018 The box had some items added to it when it was unearthed in 1855. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Here's What They Found Inside Paul Revere's Time Capsule," 7 Jan. 2015 This smartphone addiction is for real, despite the optimistic spin these McGill University researchers that Aaron unearthed last week put on the matter. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—Tech's Leaders Should Heed Employee Outrage With Prudent Response," 9 July 2018 Construction workers building a park discovered the bones on the city's West Mesa, police said, a quarter mile from a mass grave where the remains were unearthed in 2009 after a woman walking her dog found a large bone protruding from the dirt. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Discovery near mass gravesite leads to fears of more victims in unsolved serial killings," 4 July 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

15 Oct 2018

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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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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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