from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A person or animal that digs.
  • noun A tool or machine used for digging or excavating.
  • noun A soldier from Australia in World War I and World War II.
  • noun A soldier from New Zealand in World War I.
  • noun Offensive Used as a disparaging term, especially in the 1800s, for a member of any of various Native American peoples of the Great Basin, such as the Utes, Paiutes, and Western Shoshones.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who digs for gold; a gold-miner.
  • noun A person or an animal that digs; an instrument for digging.
  • noun [⟨cap.] One of a degraded class of Indians in California, Nevada, and adjacent regions, belonging to several tribes, all more or less intimately connected with the Shoshones: so called because they live chiefly upon roots dug from the ground. Collectively called Digger Indians.
  • noun plural In entomology, specifically, the hymenopterous insects called digger-wasps or Fossores. See Fossores and digger-wasp.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who, or that which, digs.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of the fossorial Hymenoptera.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A large piece of machinery that digs holes or trenches; an excavator.
  • noun A tool for digging.
  • noun A spade (playing card).
  • noun One who digs.
  • noun Australia, obsolete A gold miner, one who digs for gold.
  • noun Australia, dated An informal nickname for a friend; used as a term of endearment.
  • noun Australia An Australian or New Zealand soldier.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a machine for excavating
  • noun a laborer who digs


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Sense 3, from their use of digging sticks as foraging tools.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Derived from dig.



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  • In New England, "take a digger" means to fall down.

    December 30, 2007

  • c1400 Promp. Parv. 118/1 Deluar or dyggar, fossor.

    April 25, 2008

  • Australian slang - an Australian soldier, especially a uniformed recruit of the Army.

    April 25, 2008

  • An excellent webcomic.

    June 19, 2009

  • "And he'd lost his postcard from Egypt, the one he got from his dad's cousin, Earl. Back in '43 he wrote a letter to cheer up a digger. He addressed it: Earl Blunt, EGYPT, and it found him, just as he assumed it would. And a card came back, an exotic picture from another world. He'd stuck it somewhere secret and had bamboozled himself with his own cunning."

    Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, p 46 of the Graywolf Press hardcover edition

    March 27, 2010