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[eks-kuh-veyt] /ˈɛks kəˌveɪt/
verb (used with object), excavated, excavating.
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.
to make (a hole, tunnel, etc.) by removing material.
to dig or scoop out (earth, sand, etc.).
to expose or lay bare by or as if by digging; unearth:
to excavate an ancient city.
Origin of excavate
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unexcavated
Historical Examples
  • Some seventy or eighty feet is all that is visible of this limestone; the rest is unexcavated.

  • Bapaume as Father Beckett saw it, is a Herculaneum unexcavated.

    Everyman's Land C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson
  • Large, unexcavated ruins, magnificent canyons and mesas off the beaten path unfold the charm of this primitive region.

  • No survey of the unexcavated sites has been made, and the total number of ruins is unknown.

  • A number of buildings or clusters of rooms have been excavated in this, and others as yet unexcavated are known to be there.

    Your National Parks Enos A. Mills
British Dictionary definitions for unexcavated


to remove (soil, earth, etc) by digging; dig out
to make (a hole, cavity, or tunnel) in (solid matter) by hollowing or removing the centre or inner part: to excavate a tooth
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
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Word Origin and History for unexcavated



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
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