delve

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See also: Delve

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /dɛlv/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛlv

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English delven, from Old English delfan (to dig, dig out, burrow, bury), from Proto-Germanic *delbaną (to dig), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰelbʰ- (to dig). Cognate with West Frisian dolle (to dig, delve), Dutch delven (to dig, delve), Low German dölven (to dig, delve), dialectal German delben, telben (to dig, delve).

Verb[edit]

delve (third-person singular simple present delves, present participle delving, simple past delved or (obsolete) dolve, past participle delved or (archaic) dolven)

  1. (intransitive) To dig into the ground, especially with a shovel.
    • 1697, Virgil, “Georgics”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      Delve of convenient depth your thrashing floor.
    • 1847 December, Ellis Bell [pseudonym; Emily Brontë], Wuthering Heights, volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Thomas Cautley Newby, [], OCLC 156123328:
      I got a spade from the tool-house, and began to delve with all my might - it scraped the coffin; I fell to work with my hands; the wood commenced cracking about the screws; I was on the point of attaining my object, when it seemed that I heard a sigh from some one above, close at the edge of the grave, and bending down.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To search thoroughly and carefully for information, research, dig into, penetrate, fathom, trace out
    • 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      I cannot delve him to the root.
    • 1943, Emile C. Tepperman, Calling Justice, Inc.!
      She was intensely eager to delve into the mystery of Mr. Joplin and his brief case.
  3. (transitive, intransitive) To dig; to excavate.
    • 1483, William Caxton, translating Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend:
      And then they made an oratory behind the altar, and would have dolven for to have laid the body in that oratory []
    • 1865, Sebastian Evans, Brother Fabian's Manuscript: And Other Poems, page 59:
      They dolve a grave beneath the arrow
      And covered it with brere.
    • 1891, Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company, chapter IV
      Let him take off his plates and delve himself, if delving must be done.
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English delve, delf, dælf, from Old English delf, ġedelf (digging) and dælf (that which is dug out, delf, ditch). More at delf.

Noun[edit]

delve (plural delves)

  1. (now rare) A pit or den.
Related terms[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Verb[edit]

delve

  1. (archaic) singular present subjunctive of delven

Anagrams[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old English delfan.

Verb[edit]

delve

  1. Alternative form of delven

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old English delf.

Noun[edit]

delve

  1. Alternative form of delf