dig

When you dig, you scoop or shovel up dirt, sand, or some other material. Your dog might whine to go outside so she can dig a hole in your dad's garden.

You can dig with your hands, a shovel, or even a tractor or backhoe. City crews dig up roads to repair water pipes, and gardeners dig small for planting bulbs. You can even say you dig your brother in the side when you jab him there. If someone says, "I dig you," they mean, "I understand," and if they say, "I dig your outfit," they like it. Both slang usages come from 1930s African American English.

Primary Meanings of dig

1.
vn
turn up, loosen, or remove earth
the act of digging
2.
vn
thrust down or into
the act of touching someone suddenly with your finger or elbow
3.
v
work hard
4.
v
get the meaning of something
Full Definitions of dig
1

v turn up, loosen, or remove earth

Dig we must”
Synonyms:
cut into, delve, turn over
Types:
show 7 types...
hide 7 types...
furrow, groove, rut
hollow out in the form of a furrow or groove
root, rootle, rout
dig with the snout
spade
dig (up) with a spade
shovel
dig with or as if with a shovel
trowel
use a trowel on; for light garden work or plaster work
burrow, tunnel
move through by or as by digging
ridge
spade into alternate ridges and troughs
Type of:
remove, take, take away, withdraw
remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off, or remove something abstract

v remove, harvest, or recover by digging

dig salt”
dig coal”
Synonyms:
dig out, dig up
Type of:
excavate, unearth
recover through digging

v remove the inner part or the core of

Synonyms:
excavate, hollow
Types:
drive
excavate horizontally
ditch, trench
cut a trench in, as for drainage
Type of:
remove, take, take away, withdraw
remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off, or remove something abstract

v create by digging

dig a hole”
dig out a channel”
Synonyms:
dig out
Types:
lift
take (root crops) out of the ground
trench
dig a trench or trenches
dibble
make a hole with a wooden hand tool
Type of:
core out, hollow, hollow out
remove the interior of

n the act of digging

Synonyms:
digging, excavation
Type of:
creating by removal
the act of creating by removing something

n the site of an archeological exploration

“they set up camp next to the dig
Synonyms:
archeological site, excavation
Examples:
Byblos
an ancient Mediterranean seaport that was a thriving city state in Phoenicia during the second millennium BC; was the chief port for the export of papyrus; located in Lebanon to the north of Beirut; now partially excavated
Type of:
land site, site
the piece of land on which something is located (or is to be located)

n a small gouge (as in the cover of a book)

“the book was in good condition except for a dig in the back cover”
Type of:
dent, ding, gouge, nick
an impression in a surface (as made by a blow)
2

v thrust down or into

dig the oars into the water”
dig your foot into the floor”
Type of:
thrust
push forcefully

v poke or thrust abruptly

Synonyms:
jab, poke, prod, stab
Type of:
thrust
push forcefully

n the act of touching someone suddenly with your finger or elbow

“she gave me a sharp dig in the ribs”
Synonyms:
jab
Type of:
touch, touching
the act of putting two things together with no space between them

n an aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile and intended to have a telling effect

“she takes a dig at me every chance she gets”
Synonyms:
barb, gibe, jibe, shaft, shot, slam
Types:
cheap shot
an unnecessarily aggressive and unfair remark directed at a defenseless person
Type of:
comment, input, remark
a statement that expresses a personal opinion or belief or adds information
3

v work hard

“She was digging away at her math homework”
Synonyms:
drudge, fag, grind, labor, labour, moil, toil, travail
Type of:
do work, work
be employed
4

v get the meaning of something

Synonyms:
apprehend, compass, comprehend, get the picture, grasp, grok, savvy
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
figure
understand
catch on, cotton on, get it, get onto, get wise, latch on, tumble, twig
understand, usually after some initial difficulty
intuit
know or grasp by intuition or feeling
digest
arrange and integrate in the mind
Type of:
understand
know and comprehend the nature or meaning of

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.