Date: 1100-1200
Origin: Perhaps from Old English dic 'ditch'


1 verb
dig1 S3 past tense and past participle dug present participle digging
1 [intransitive and transitive] to move earth, snow etc, or to make a hole in the ground, using a spade or your hands
dig a hole/trench/grave etc
They dig a small hole in the sand to bury their eggs.
dig down
Dig down about 6 inches.
dig for
birds digging for worms
2 [transitive] to remove something, especially vegetables, from the ground using a spade:
freshly dug carrots
3 [intransitive,transitive always + adverb/preposition] to put your hand into something, especially in order to search for something:
She dug around in her bag for a pen.
He dug his hands deep into his pockets.

dig your heels in

to refuse to do something in spite of other people's efforts to persuade you

dig deep

to use something which you have, especially money or effort, which you would not normally need:
With one man sent off, the team had to dig deep and hang on for a draw.

dig a hole for yourself

also dig yourself into a hole to get yourself into a difficult situation by doing or saying the wrong thing

dig somebody out of trouble/a mess/a hole etc

to help a person or organization get out of trouble

dig your own grave

to do something that will cause serious problems for you in the future
9 [transitive] old-fashioned to like something:
I dig that hat!

dig in

phrasal verb

dig something ↔ in

also dig something into somethingDLG to mix something into soil by digging:
Dig some fertiliser into the soil first.
2 also dig (something) into something to push a hard or pointed object into something, especially someone's body, or to press into something:
She dug her finger nails into his arm.
dig something ↔ in
He dug his spurs in and urged his horse on.
I could feel one of the hooks digging in.
3PMA if a group of people, especially soldiers, dig in, they make a protected place for themselves or prepare for a difficult situation:
The troops dug in along the defensive line.
We just have to dig in and hope we can turn things around.
4 also dig into something informalDF to start eating food that is in front of you:
Go on - dig in!
He was already digging into his pie and chips.

dig into something

phrasal verb
1 to start using a supply of something, especially money:
I'm going to have to dig into my savings again.
2 to try to find out about something unknown or secret:
He had been digging into her past.
dig in

dig something ↔ out

phrasal verb
1 to get something out of earth, snow etc using a spade or your hands
dig something ↔ out of
We had to dig the car out of a snow drift.
2 to find something you have not seen for a long time, or that is not easy to find:
I must remember to dig out that book for you.

dig something ↔ up

phrasal verb
1 to remove something from the earth using a spade:
I'll dig up that plant and move it.
2 to remove the surface of an area of ground, road etc, or to make holes in it:
They're digging up the road just outside my flat.
3 to find hidden or forgotten information by careful searching:
They tried to dig up something from his past to spoil his chances of being elected.

Dictionary results for "dig"
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