To excavate is to remove or find by digging. If you have rocky soil in your garden, you may have to excavate it to remove the rocks and replace them with additional soil.

Construction crews also excavate when they remove material from the ground. Workers slowly excavate subways tunnels using explosives to break up the rock and earth. Then the workers clear away the materials, hollowing out a tunnel as they go. It often takes a lot of time and effort to excavate. But most people would agree a new subway line is dynamite!

Definitions of excavate
  1. verb

    recover through digging

    excavated Troy”
    excavate gold”
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    dig, dig out, dig up

    remove, harvest, or recover by digging
    type of:

    bring out, reveal, uncover, unveil

    make visible

  2. verb

    find by digging in the ground

    dig up, turn up

    locate, turn up

    discover the location of; determine the place of; find by searching or examining
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    grub out, grub up

    dig up

    dig out with the snout
    disinter, exhume

    dig up for reburial or for medical investigation; of dead bodies
    type of:


    come into possession of

  3. verb

    remove the inner part or the core of

    “the mining company wants to
    excavate the hillside”
    dig, hollow
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    excavate horizontally
    ditch, trench

    cut a trench in, as for drainage
    type of:

    remove, take, take away, withdraw

    remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off, or remove something abstract

  4. verb

    form by hollowing

    “Carnegie had a lake
    excavated for Princeton University’s rowing team”
    excavate a cavity”
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    type of:

    core out, hollow, hollow out

    remove the interior of

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