excavate

verb
ex·​ca·​vate | \ ˈek-skə-ˌvāt How to pronounce excavate (audio) \
excavated; excavating

Definition of excavate

transitive verb

1 : to form a cavity or hole in
2 : to form by hollowing out
3 : to dig out and remove
4 : to expose to view by or as if by digging away a covering excavate the remains of a temple

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Synonyms for excavate

Synonyms

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Examples of excavate in a Sentence

They excavated an ancient city. It is the first site to be excavated in this area. They began excavating the backyard for their new pool. The excess dirt was carefully excavated.
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Recent Examples on the Web Congregants and museum archeologists are now plotting a way forward together on how best to excavate the site and to tell First Baptist's story. Ben Finley, ajc, 7 Oct. 2021 Congregants and museum archeologists are now plotting a way forward together on how best to excavate the site and to tell First Baptist’s story. NBC News, 7 Oct. 2021 Because these weren’t Native American graves, no law explicitly applied to burial grounds which would prevent the government from continuing to excavate and build. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021 These mines use heavy equipment to excavate pits and leave piles of tailings for recreational diggers to go through for a daily fee of $10 to $100. New York Times, 31 Aug. 2021 Firefighters and other emergency workers were scrambling on Wednesday to excavate a ravine to divert lava away from Todoque. New York Times, 22 Sep. 2021 The play fuses rhythm and poetry to excavate the inner lives of seven Black men over the course of a single day in Brooklyn. Naveen Kumar, Town & Country, 22 Sep. 2021 The company cuts costs by relying on longwall mining, a process that uses robotic equipment rather than people to excavate coal. Michael Hawthorne, chicagotribune.com, 17 Sep. 2021 Dino Hunters With winter looming, Clayton and Luke race to excavate two massive triceratops skulls, while the Harris-Bolan crew searches for a missing femur from their rare ceratopsian. Los Angeles Times, 3 Sep. 2021

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

1599, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for excavate

borrowed from Latin excavātus, past participle of excavāre "to hollow out, form a hole in," from ex- ex- entry 1 + cavāre "to make hollow, hollow out," verbal derivative of cavus "hollow, concave" — more at hole entry 1

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Time Traveler for excavate

Time Traveler

The first known use of excavate was in 1599

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Dictionary Entries Near excavate

ex cathedra

excavate

excavation

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Statistics for excavate

Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Excavate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excavate. Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for excavate

excavate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of excavate

: to uncover (something) by digging away and removing the earth that covers it
: to dig a large hole in (something)
: to form (a hole, tunnel, etc.) by digging

excavate

verb
ex·​ca·​vate | \ ˈek-skə-ˌvāt How to pronounce excavate (audio) \
excavated; excavating

Kids Definition of excavate

1 : to expose to view by digging away a covering They've excavated an ancient city.
2 : to hollow out : form a hole in Workers excavated the side of a hill.
3 : to make by hollowing out We must excavate a tunnel.
4 : to dig out and remove Miners excavate diamonds.

excavate

verb
ex·​ca·​vate | \ ˈek-skə-ˌvāt How to pronounce excavate (audio) \
excavated; excavating

Medical Definition of excavate

transitive verb

: to form a cavity or hole in an excavated wisdom tooth

intransitive verb

: to make excavations or become hollowed out an area of infarction in soft tissue often tends to excavate

More from Merriam-Webster on excavate

Nglish: Translation of excavate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of excavate for Arabic Speakers

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