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

  • transitive v. To make a hole in; hollow out: excavate an ore-rich hillside.
  • transitive v. To form by hollowing out.
  • transitive v. To remove by digging or scooping out.
  • transitive v. To expose or uncover by or as if by digging: excavate an archaeological site.
  • intransitive v. To engage in digging, hollowing out, or removing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To hollow out; to form cavity or hole in; to make hollow by cutting, scooping, or digging
  • transitive v. To form by hollowing; to shape, as a cavity, or anything that is hollow.
  • transitive v. To dig out and remove, as earth.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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


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").


  • 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


  • 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.


  • There emerges (from time to time) a bit of a tension - where those who recently split from the RCP want to continue to "excavate" some line questions (and sum up the last few years of events), and other folks here at Kasama say "The RCP is not that important, objectively, and we need to articulate a basic break and move on."


  • Right down to road workers that use gov equipment & fuel & time to excavate their own properties.

    SEC staffers watched porn as economy crashed

  • Others object to BP's £1.6bn "Sunrise" project to excavate oil from Canada's tar sands.

    BP investors poised to voice anger at executive bonuses


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  • exCAVatE. Make a cave.

    November 18, 2009