1. verb /dɛlv/
a) To dig the ground, especially with a shovel.

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.

b) To search thoroughly and carefully for information.

She was intensely eager to delve into the mystery of Mr. Joplin and his brief case.

2. noun /dɛlv/
A pit or den.

the wise Merlin whylome wont (they say) / To make his wonne, low vnderneath the ground, / In a deepe delue, farre from the vew of day [...].

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  • Delve — Delve, n. [See {Delve}, v. t., and cf. {Delf} a mine.] A place dug; a pit; a ditch; a den; a cave. [1913 Webster] Which to that shady delve him brought at last. Spenser. [1913 Webster] The very tigers from their delves Look out. Moore. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Delve — Delvev. t. [imp. & p. p. {Delved}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Delving}.] [AS. delfan to dig; akin to OS. bidelban to bury, D. delven to dig, MHG. telben, and possibly to E. dale. Cf. {Delf} a mine.] 1. To dig; to open (the ground) as with a spade. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Delve — Delve, v. i. To dig or labor with a spade, or as with a spade; to labor as a drudge. [1913 Webster] Delve may I not: I shame to beg. Wyclif (Luke xvi. 3). [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • delve — [delv] v [: Old English; Origin: delfan [i] to dig ] 1.) to try to find more information about someone or something delve into ▪ research that delves deeply into this issue 2.) [always + adverb/preposition] to search for something by putting your …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • delve — I verb ask for, burrow, carry on intensive research, conduct an inquiry, dig down into, dig into, examine, explore, fathom, ferret out, fodere, follow the trail, go deep into, go in pursuit of, go in search of, go through, hold an inquiry, hunt… …   Law dictionary

  • delve — [ delv ] verb intransitive 1. ) to look for information by searching through something thoroughly: This biography delves deep into the artist s private life. 2. ) to search for something in a bag, pocket, etc.: Frank delved into his pocket and… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • delve — O.E. delfan to dig (class III strong verb; past tense dealf, pp. dolfen), common W.Gmc. verb (Cf. O.S. delban, Du. delven, M.H.G. telben to dig ), from PIE root *dhelbh (Cf. Lith. delba crowbar, Rus. dolbit , Czech dlabati, Pol …   Etymology dictionary

  • delve — *dig, spade, grub, excavate …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • delve — [v] dig into task, action burrow, dig, dredge, examine, excavate, explore, ferret out*, go into, gouge out, inquire, investigate, jump into, leave no stone unturned*, look into, probe, prospect, ransack, really get into*, research, rummage, scoop …   New thesaurus

  • delve — ► VERB 1) reach inside a receptacle and search for something. 2) research intensively into something. 3) literary dig or excavate. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • delve — [delv] vi. delved, delving [ME delven < OE delfan, to dig, akin to OHG (bi)telban, Du delven < IE base * dhelbh , to dig out > Czech dlubu, to hollow out] 1. [Now Dial., Chiefly Brit.] to dig with a spade 2. to investigate for… …   English World dictionary

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