Share this entry

Share this page

delve

Syllabification: delve
Pronunciation: /delv
 
/

Definition of delve in English:

verb

[no object]
1Reach inside a receptacle and search for something: she delved in her pocket
More example sentences
  • Jo then delved in to the toy box and brought out a farmyard set before passing round a bag of plastic animals for the youngsters to pull out and identify.
  • At great personal risk I delved in among the spines today but, apart from last year's abandoned nest, there was nothing.
  • Then he prised open my mouth and delved in with a metal stick while the nurse fed a miniature sprinkler system down my gullet.
Synonyms
rummage (around/about) in, search, hunt in, scrabble around in, root around/about in, ferret (about/around) in, fish about/around in, dig into/in;
go through, rifle through
1.1Research or make painstaking inquiries into something: as we delve further into the atom’s secrets
More example sentences
  • Along with that, the show has two researchers delving into all the newspaper periodicals that are sent in.
  • His research delves into matroidal structures, a concept based on graphs and matrices and its applications.
  • I was confused and delved into my own research on the matter.
Synonyms
1.2 [with object] literary Dig; excavate: (as adjective delved) the approach from the surface above had awed her, so hugely delved were the tunnels
More example sentences
  • They rounded another corner, careful not to brush up against the slime-covered wall and descended down another tunnel, delving deeper underground.
  • Although the economy as a set of material practices has existed ever since ‘Adam delved and Eve span,’ it was not conceptualized as separate until about 300 years ago.
  • He turned the corner and still the tunnel delved deeper into the rock.

Origin

Old English delfan 'dig'; related to Dutch delven.

Derivatives

delver

1
noun
Example sentences
  • A top profiler and unmatched delver into the serial-killer mindset, she is terribly good at that thing where you hold the torch on top of your handgun when entering a dark apartment.
  • A truly remarkable book thoroughly investigated and produced by arguably one the world's greatest delvers into the understanding of the ancient past.
  • Fate was - in the past - supposed to be the supreme delver into the arcane and the mysterious energies of the universe.

Words that rhyme with delve

helve, shelve, twelve

Definition of delve in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…