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[ig-zoom, -zyoom, eks-hyoom] /ɪgˈzum, -ˈzyum, ɛksˈhyum/
verb (used with object), exhumed, exhuming.
to dig (something buried, especially a dead body) out of the earth; disinter.
to revive or restore after neglect or a period of forgetting; bring to light:
to exhume a literary reputation; to exhume old letters.
Origin of exhume
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin exhumāre, equivalent to Latin ex- ex-1 + humāre to inter
Related forms
[eks-hyoo-mey-shuh n] /ˌɛks hyʊˈmeɪ ʃən/ (Show IPA),
exhumer, noun
unexhumed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for exhume
  • Among the stranger pursuits of science these days is the effort to exhume dead celebrities.
  • The commission decided not to exhume the bodies because it was costly and probably too late.
  • Barbara said the family was still deciding whether to exhume her body for an independent autopsy.
  • It would be possible to exhume the body and search for hantavirus rna.
  • Unable to collect any pension money without that card, the widow attempts to exhume the body.
  • Someone who not only knows where the bodies are buried but also knows how to exhume them.
  • Unlike in the previous year, there were no reports that prisoners were forced to exhume bodies.
  • The investigator had received training in how to exhume human remains and process an arson scene.
  • High-discharge events may exhume such isolated pools and deliver additional contaminants to discharge points.
  • After you've got drainage material put on top of a landfill liner system, it's impossible to exhume it.
British Dictionary definitions for exhume


verb (transitive)
to dig up (something buried, esp a corpse); disinter
to reveal; disclose; unearth: don't exhume that old argument
Derived Forms
exhumation (ˌɛkshjʊˈmeɪʃən) noun
exhumer, noun
Word Origin
C18: from Medieval Latin exhumāre, from Latin ex-1 + humāre to bury, from humus the ground
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
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Word Origin and History for exhume

early 15c., from Medieval Latin exhumare "to unearth" (13c.), from Latin ex- "out of" (see ex-) + humare "bury," from humus "earth" (see chthonic). An alternative form was exhumate (1540s), taken directly from Medieval Latin. Related: Exhumed; exhuming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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