Definition of excavate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    excavate

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈekskəveɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈekskəveɪt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they excavate
    BrE BrE//ˈekskəveɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈekskəveɪt//
     
    he / she / it excavates
    BrE BrE//ˈekskəveɪts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈekskəveɪts//
     
    past simple excavated
    BrE BrE//ˈekskəveɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈekskəveɪtɪd//
     
    past participle excavated
    BrE BrE//ˈekskəveɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈekskəveɪtɪd//
     
    -ing form excavating
    BrE BrE//ˈekskəveɪtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈekskəveɪtɪŋ//
     
    Describing architecture
     
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  1. 1to dig in the ground to look for old buildings or objects that have been buried for a long time; to find something by digging in this way excavate something The site has been excavated by archaeologists. The area has not yet been fully excavated. excavate something from something pottery and weapons excavated from the burial site See related entries: Describing architecture
  2. 2excavate something (formal) to make a hole, etc. in the ground by digging The body was discovered when builders excavated the area. See related entries: Describing architecture
  3. Word Origin late 16th cent.: from Latin excavat- ‘hollowed out’, from the verb excavare, from ex- ‘out’ + cavare ‘make or become hollow’ (from cavus ‘hollow’).
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: excavate