dig


dig
dig vb Dig, delve, spade, grub, excavate mean to use a spade or similar utensil in breaking up the ground to a point below the surface and in turning or removing the earth or bringing to the surface of something below it.
Dig, the commonest word, implies a loosening of the earth around or under something so as to bring it to the surface, or a disturbing of the earth by such loosening
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dig in the ruins of Pompeii

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dig for gold

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dig potatoes

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Dig may imply also a result comparable to that obtained by spading
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the woodchuck dug a burrow in the field

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or a bringing to the surface or out of concealment
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dig up a man's past

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or prolonged laborious effort as in study or research
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Laurie dug to some purpose that year, for he graduated with honor— Alcott

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Delve implies the use of a spade or more often of efforts comparable to the use of a spade and carries a stronger connotation of laboriousness and depth of penetration (as in the work of a gardener or of one who cultivates an interest)
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eleven, twelve, dig and delveOld Nursery Rhyme

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a smug and spectacled best scholar, spending . . . time delving among the chronicles ... in the reading room of the British Museum— Rose Macaulay

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Spade is often interchangeable with dig but even more frequently than the latter is applied to a turning of the earth in manual (as opposed to mechanical) preparation of soil for planting
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spade up a garden

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she had spaded a pit in the backyard for barbecues— Joseph Mitchell

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has spent her writing career (28 years, eleven books) spading up the New England past— Time

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Grub may denote a digging and turning of soil but more often implies a clearing of soil by digging out something (as roots, stumps, and stones); often it suggests the hard, dirty, exhausting nature of such work and with this feeling may be used of various tasks, labors, or duties
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women and children helped to grub the land— Collis

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surviving on roots he grubbed from the soil

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shuffled among the ruins of their cities, and grubbed in the countryside for food and fuel— The Lamp

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fortunes were made in a day of grubbing and lost in a night of faro or red dog— Billington

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In some cases grub reflects the disorder of the land-clearing process and denotes a haphazard and laborious rummaging
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I grubbed in the dark alone, groping among shoes and boots . . . painfully garnering the scattered pictures— Phelan

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Ragpickers . . . grubbing about among a pile of human refuse— Times Lit. Sup.

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grubbing around cemeteries

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Excavate suggests making a hollow in or through something (as the ground, a mass of rock, or a mountainside) by or as if by means of a spade or shovel or a machine which performs the operations of spading and shoveling
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excavate the ground for a cellar

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excavate a tomb

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excavate a tunnel

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archaeologists engaged in excavating the site of an ancient city

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Analogous words: pierce, penetrate, probe, *enter

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dig — may refer to: Contents 1 Music 2 Other media 3 Abbreviations 4 …   Wikipedia

  • Dig — (d[i^]g), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Dug} (d[u^]g) or {Digged} (d[i^]gd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Digging}. Digged is archaic.] [OE. diggen, perh. the same word as diken, dichen (see {Dike}, {Ditch}); cf. Dan. dige to dig, dige a ditch; or (?) akin to E. 1st… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • DIG — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. {{{image}}}   Sigles d une seule lettre   Sigles de deux lettres > Sigles de trois lettres …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dig — steht als Abkürzung für Days In Grief, eine Kölner Band Deutsch Indische Gesellschaft Deutsch Indonesische Gesellschaft Deutsch Irische Gesellschaft Deutsch Israelische Gesellschaft Deutsch Italienische Gesellschaft Deutsche… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • dig — dig1 [dig] vt. dug, digging [ME diggen < Anglo Fr * diguer < OFr digue, dike < Du dijk: see DIKE1] 1. to break and turn up or remove (ground, etc.) with a spade or other tool, or with hands, claws, snout, etc. 2. to make (a hole, cellar …   English World dictionary

  • Dig It — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda «Dig It» Canción de The Beatles Álbum Let It Be Publicación 8 de mayo 1970 …   Wikipedia Español

  • DIG — steht als Abkürzung für Days In Grief, eine Kölner Band Deutsch Indische Gesellschaft Deutsch Indonesische Gesellschaft Deutsch Irische Gesellschaft Deutsch Israelische Gesellschaft Deutsch Italienische Gesellschaft Deutsche… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dig It — Chanson par The Beatles extrait de l’album Let It Be Sortie 8 mai 1970 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dig It — Исполнитель The Beatles Альбом Let It Be Дата выпуска 8 мая 1970 Дата записи 26 …   Википедия

  • Dig In — Single by Lenny Kravitz from the album Lenny Released November 13, 20 …   Wikipedia


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