from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To search deeply and laboriously: delved into the court records.
- intransitive v. To dig the ground, as with a spade.
- transitive v. Archaic To dig (ground) with a spade.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To dig the ground, especially with a shovel.
- v. To search thoroughly and carefully for information, research, dig into, penetrate, fathom, trace out
- v. To dig, to excavate.
- n. A pit or den.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To dig; to open (the ground) as with a spade.
- transitive v. To dig into; to penetrate; to trace out; to fathom.
- intransitive v. To dig or labor with a spade, or as with a spade; to labor as a drudge.
- n. A place dug; a pit; a ditch; a den; a cave.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To dig; turn up or excavate with a spade or some other tool.
- To bury.
- To practise digging; labor with the spade.
- Figuratively, to carry on laborious or continued research or investigation, as one digging for hidden treasure.
- n. A place dug or hollowed out; a pitfall; a ditch; a den; a cave.
- n. That which is dug out: as, a delve of coals (a certain quantity of coal dug from a mine).
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. turn up, loosen, or remove earth
Middle English delven, to dig, from Old English delfan.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English delven, delfan ("to dig, examine, bury, imbed, implant"), from Old English delfan ("to dig, dig out, burrow, bury"), from Proto-Germanic *delbanan, from Proto-Indo-European *dʰelbʰ- (“to dig”). (Wiktionary)