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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for unearth



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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 Theater props: Dan Butler at Flexible Storage Solutions in the U.K. unearthed in one of his units a 7-foot-tall wooden horse, too large to be a child’s rocking horse, but perfect for a stage. oregonlive, "Top 10 creepiest pieces of junk and other weird stuff left in storage units," 14 Feb. 2020 Some of the first chewing gums, made of birch tar and other natural substances, have been preserved for thousands of years, including a 5,700-year-old piece of Stone Age gum unearthed in Denmark. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, "Human Genome Recovered From 5,700-Year-Old Chewing Gum," 17 Dec. 2019 Formerly one of the more obscure institutions in Chicago, the OI has also been in the news for its return this September of some 1,800 ancient tablets to Iran, unearthed in the 1930s by OI scholars and kept in Hyde Park ever since. Lori Waxman, chicagotribune.com, "The year in art was explosive, scene-changing and expanded far beyond the walls of galleries. Here’s a look at some things that mattered in 2019," 11 Dec. 2019 The consultant's report was detailed in an internal corporate document unearthed in the discovery process of one of the lawsuits and viewed by NBC News. Laura Strickler, NBC News, "Three major drug distributors in talks to settle opioid claims for $18 billion," 16 Oct. 2019 The fossil, which was classified as Neanderthal when it was unearthed in Greece in the 1970s, was analyzed last month by the paleoanthropologist Katerina Harvati of the University of Tübingen and her colleagues. Quanta Magazine, "Fossil DNA Reveals New Twists in Modern Human Origins," 29 Aug. 2019 Their remains were buried at a Honolulu cemetery and later identified after being unearthed in 2015. USA TODAY, "Smokey Bear, tarantula trek, censoring Adam and Eve: News from around our 50 states," 9 Aug. 2019 The property was abandoned for quite some time but Madame Sibuet wanted to pay homage to its plantation and colonial style heritage, researching old books unearthed in the hotel’s library in search of inspiration of traditional West Indies design. Lindsay Silberman, Town & Country, "This resort is a design lover's paradise.," 9 Aug. 2018 Although no discoveries of human remains have been reported recently in the plaza, bones, bone fragments and at least three intact partial sets of skeletal remains have been unearthed in the Alamo’s mission church in recent months. Andrea Zelinski, ExpressNews.com, "Texas agency delays vote on moving Cenotaph in downtown San Antonio," 28 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for unearth

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for unearth

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unearth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unearth. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for unearth


How to pronounce unearth (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unearth

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unearth

Spanish Central: Translation of unearth

Nglish: Translation of unearth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unearth for Arabic Speakers

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