Meaning of “excavate” in the English Dictionary

"excavate" in British English

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excavateverb [ I or T ]

uk /ˈek.skə.veɪt/ us /ˈek.skə.veɪt/

to remove earth that is covering very old objects buried in the ground in order to discover things about the past:

Ice age bones are being excavated in the caves.

to dig a hole or channel in the ground, especially with a machine:

In tin mining today, workers excavate tunnels horizontally from a vertical shaft.
noun [ C or U ] uk /ˌeks.kəˈveɪ.ʃən/ us /ˌeks.kəˈveɪ.ʃən/

Excavation on the site is likely to continue for several years.
She has taken part in several excavations of Roman settlements across Europe.

(Definition of “excavate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"excavate" in American English

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excavateverb [ I/T ]

us /ˈek·skəˌveɪt/

to dig a hole or channel in the ground, or to make a hole or channel by removing earth:

[ I ] We’ll be excavating here for the foundation of the building.

To excavate is also to remove earth from a place in order to find old objects buried there:

[ T ] Archaeologists are excavating a site near the cathedral.
noun [ C/U ] us /ˌek·skəˈveɪ·ʃən/

[ C ] an excavation 40 feet deep

(Definition of “excavate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)