Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To make a hole in; hollow out.
  • intransitive verb To form by hollowing out.
  • intransitive verb To remove by digging or scooping out.
  • intransitive verb To expose or uncover by or as if by digging.
  • intransitive verb To engage in digging, hollowing out, or removing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To hollow out, or make a hollow or cavity in, by digging or scooping out the inner part, or by removing extraneous matter: as, to excavate a tumulus or a buried city for the purpose of exploring it; to excavate a cocoanut.
  • To form by scooping or hollowing out; make by digging out material, as from the earth: as, to excavate a tunnel or a cellar.
  • In zoology: Formed as if by excavation; hollowed, but having the inner surface irregularly rounded.
  • Widely and irregularly notched: said of a margin or mark.

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

  • transitive verb To hollow out; to form cavity or hole in; to make hollow by cutting, scooping, or digging
  • transitive verb To form by hollowing; to shape, as a cavity, or anything that is hollow.
  • transitive verb (Engin.) To dig out and remove, as earth.
  • transitive verb a kind of dredging apparatus for excavating under water, in which silt and loose material mixed with water are drawn up by a pump.

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

  • noun zoology A major grouping of unicellular eukaryotes, of the clade Excavata
  • verb transitive To make a hole in (something); to hollow.
  • verb transitive To remove part of (something) by scooping or digging it out.
  • verb transitive To uncover (something) by removing its covering.

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

  • verb form by hollowing
  • verb find by digging in the ground
  • verb recover through digging
  • verb remove the inner part or the core of

Etymologies

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

[Latin excavāre, excavāt-, to hollow out : ex-, ex- + cavāre, to hollow (from cavus, hollow; see keuə- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Known since 1599, from Latin excavātus ("hollowed out"), perfect passive participle of excavō ("hollow out"), from ex ("out") + cavō ("make a hole"), from cavus ("cave, hole").

Examples

  • That would be as if Muslims invaded Italy and tried to "excavate" the Sistine Chapel.

    Why "excavating" Al Aqsa is a bad idea: It's like "excavating" the Sistine Chapel

  • And then the Muslims started declaring that they needed to "excavate" under the Sistine Chapel.

    Why "excavating" Al Aqsa is a bad idea: It's like "excavating" the Sistine Chapel

  • Having Israeli neo-cons "excavate" around the Al Aqsa mosque would be pretty much the same as if Muslims had arrived in Italy 60 years ago, drove most of the Italians off their land, stole their cities and villages and made everybody in Italy learn to speak Arabic or else.

    Why "excavating" Al Aqsa is a bad idea: It's like "excavating" the Sistine Chapel

  • Kiesling says that Clifford and his crew, among other things, concealed the true number of test pits dug at the site from the media and investors to make it appear that a large number of spectacular finds came from one small area, thus prompting the flow of investment money to "excavate" more test pits.

    Loaded Guns, Barrels of Rum, and a Silk Ribbon

  • To carry out my research I had to "excavate" the basements and storerooms of the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel Museum, and other institutions where material from "finished" digs is housed, rummaging through dusty boxes and trays.

    From the President: Basement Archaeology

  • Network Archaeology used to 'excavate' the past structure of networks

    Autoblog

  • Network Archaeology used to 'excavate' the past structure of networks

    Autoblog Green

  • Network Archaeology used to 'excavate' the past structure of networks

    Autoblog

  • Often Hebrew words are a combination of more than one English word, and it can be incredibly fulfilling to "excavate" your passages so when you are reading the Hebrew up there, you have a real connection to what you are saying.

    Articles

  • Often Hebrew words are a combination of more than one English word, and it can be incredibly fulfilling to "excavate" your passages so when you are reading the Hebrew up there, you have a real connection to what you are saying.

    Articles

Comments

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  • exCAVatE. Make a cave.

    November 18, 2009