follow Dictionary.com

Love words? Sign up for our Word of the Day!

delve

[delv] /dɛlv/
verb (used without object), delved, delving.
1.
to carry on intensive and thorough research for data, information, or the like; investigate:
to delve into the issue of prison reform.
2.
Archaic. to dig, as with a spade.
verb (used with object), delved, delving.
3.
Archaic. to dig; excavate.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English delven, Old English delfan; cognate with Dutch delven, Old High German telban
Related forms
delver, noun
undelved, adjective
Synonyms
1. research, inquire, probe, examine, explore.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for delves
  • That's because it delves into something quite near and dear to us: chess.
  • It delves inside the complex molecules that reside in our cells and convert food into energy.
British Dictionary definitions for delves

delve

/dɛlv/
verb (mainly intransitive; often foll by in or into)
1.
to inquire or research deeply or intensively (for information, etc): he delved in the Bible for quotations
2.
to search or rummage (in a drawer, the pockets, etc)
3.
(esp of an animal) to dig or burrow deeply (into the ground, etc)
4.
(also transitive) (archaic or dialect) to dig or turn up (earth, a garden, etc), as with a spade
Derived Forms
delver, noun
Word Origin
Old English delfan; related to Old High German telban to dig, Russian dolbit to hollow out with a chisel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for delves

delve

v.

Old English delfan "to dig" (class III strong verb; past tense dealf, past participle dolfen), common West Germanic verb (cf. Old Saxon delban, Dutch delven, Middle High German telben "to dig"), from PIE root *dhelbh- (cf. Lithuanian delba "crowbar," Russian dolbit', Czech dlabati, Polish dłubać "to chisel;" Russian dolotó, Czech dlato, Polish dłuto "chisel"). Weak inflections emerged 14c.-16c. Related: Delved; delving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for delve

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for delves

10
12
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with delves