un·​earth | \ ˌən-ˈərth How to pronounce unearth (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for unearth


disinter, exhume


bury, entomb, inhume, inter, tomb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Reality Steve unearthed some Instagram comments that show just how much Jed was into Haley: Thanks to those who sent. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Why Jed Wyatt's Pre-'Bachelorette' Girlfriend Went Public With Her Story," 2 July 2019 Mining the past to unearth fables for the present can be the lazy filmmaker’s way out. Hau Chu, Twin Cities, "‘The Third Wife,’ a movie set in 19th-century Vietnam, has a lot to say about today," 27 June 2019 Additionally, Google unearthed a separate issue that started in January that also led to unhashed passwords being stored for up to 14 days. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Google exposes G Suite issue that stored plain-text passwords on its servers for 14 years," 22 May 2019 Walker unearths another near-miracle of cognitive dissonance in his investigation of the Gulag archipelago, which remains outside the purview of Russian national memory. Sophie Pinkham, The New Republic, "Why have post-Soviet countries embraced populism and nostalgia?," 3 May 2018 They were unearthed by researcher and author Jefferson Morley. Edward Jay Epstein, Newsweek, "O'Reilly's JFK Reporting Was Impossible. I Know Because I Was There," 9 Mar. 2015 Given that the collective bargaining agreement incentivizes players re-signing with their current teams, Golden State’s best option is to unearth draft-night gems and groom those prospects into long-term building blocks. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Why this NBA draft is bigger for the Warriors than you might think," 18 June 2019 The team will try to unearth two quality point guards with memories fresh of how the team struggled last season when forced to play the aging Calderon when Smith missed time with a groin injury. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons have obvious roster holes entering 2019 NBA draft," 17 June 2019 Of course, there’s still a great deal left to unearth about exactly how T-cells get activated. Quanta Magazine, "Immune Cells Measure Time to Identify Foreign Proteins," 3 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of unearth

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unearth

Statistics for unearth

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unearth

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce unearth (audio) \
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

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!