To excavate is to remove or find by digging. If you have rocky soil in your garden, you may have to excavate it to remove the rocks and replace them with additional soil.

Construction crews also excavate when they remove material from the ground. Workers slowly excavate subways tunnels using explosives to break up the rock and earth. Then the workers clear away the materials, hollowing out a tunnel as they go. It often takes a lot of time and effort to excavate. But most people would agree a new subway line is dynamite!

Definitions of excavate
  1. verb
    recover through digging
    “Schliemann excavated Troy”
    excavate gold”
    synonyms: unearth
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    dig, dig out, dig up
    remove, harvest, or recover by digging
    type of:
    bring out, reveal, uncover, unveil
    make visible
  2. verb
    find by digging in the ground
    synonyms: dig up, turn up
    locate, turn up
    discover the location of; determine the place of; find by searching or examining
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    grub out, grub up
    dig up
    dig out with the snout
    disinter, exhume
    dig up for reburial or for medical investigation; of dead bodies
    type of:
    come into possession of
  3. verb
    remove the inner part or the core of
    “the mining company wants to excavate the hillside”
    synonyms: dig, hollow
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    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
  4. verb
    form by hollowing
    “Carnegie had a lake excavated for Princeton University's rowing team”
    excavate a cavity”
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    type of:
    core out, hollow, hollow out
    remove the interior of
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