follow Dictionary.com

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

excavate

[eks-kuh-veyt] /ˈɛks kəˌveɪt/
verb (used with object), excavated, excavating.
1.
to make hollow by removing the inner part; make a hole or cavity in; form into a hollow, as by digging:
The ground was excavated for a foundation.
2.
to make (a hole, tunnel, etc.) by removing material.
3.
to dig or scoop out (earth, sand, etc.).
4.
to expose or lay bare by or as if by digging; unearth:
to excavate an ancient city.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Latin excavātus (past participle of excavāre to hollow out), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + cav(um) hollow, cave + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
reexcavate, verb (used with object), reexcavated, reexcavating.
unexcavated, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for ex-cavate

excavate

/ˈɛkskəˌveɪt/
verb
1.
to remove (soil, earth, etc) by digging; dig out
2.
to make (a hole, cavity, or tunnel) in (solid matter) by hollowing or removing the centre or inner part: to excavate a tooth
3.
to unearth (buried objects) methodically in an attempt to discover information about the past
Derived Forms
excavation, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin excavāre, from cavāre to make hollow, from cavus hollow
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 ex-cavate

excavate

v.

1590s, from Latin excavatus, past participle of excavare "to hollow out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + cavare "to hollow, hollow out," from cavus "cave" (see cave (n.)). Related: Excavated; excavating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for excavate

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ex

9
9
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with ex-cavate

Nearby words for ex-cavate