Definition of disinter in English:



  • 1 Dig up (something that has been buried, especially a corpse)

    ‘his corpse was disinterred and dumped in a pit’
    • ‘It isn't empty; only the bodies had been disinterred.’
    • ‘All three were later disinterred and buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.’
    • ‘He has disinterred thousands of bodies from sites where they were buried by the army.’
    • ‘Some bodies were found in rusty coffins, some as much as 10 years old, that had evidently been buried and then later disinterred.’
    • ‘In fact, the body gets buried and disinterred, and reburied and almost buried, quite a few times.’
    • ‘The ghastly sight of mutilated corpses disinterred from mass graves is psychologically incompatible with calculations about scarce resources, opportunity costs and trade-offs.’
    • ‘They asked the military to disinter the remains they believed to be Michael's and conduct a DNA test to try and make a positive identification.’
    • ‘In 1648 his remains were disinterred and buried under a dunghill, but after the Restoration they were restored to their original resting place.’
    • ‘Human remains regularly have to be disinterred from old burial grounds scheduled for development.’
    • ‘If it decides to allow it, people buried more than 100 years ago could be disinterred and then re-buried deeper underground leaving land above for new graves.’
    • ‘Later his remains were disinterred and removed for permanent burial in France.’
    • ‘The Thai commander then disinterred the body of King Ekkathat and accorded it full cremation honours.’
    • ‘People buried more than 100 years ago could be disinterred and then re-interred deeper underground, leaving fresh land above for new graves.’
    • ‘According to legend this was the work of one monk after the bones were disinterred and moved from their original burial ground to the new church.’
    • ‘Mopping up continued through the night as frantic efforts were made to disinter the troops buried in the tunnels.’
    • ‘As this involves disinterring the previous victims and dismembering them with his specially devised dissection implements, Ichabod is treated with a certain amount of suspicion.’
    • ‘The police plan to disinter Taufik's body in order to perform an autopsy and determine an exact cause of death.’
    • ‘Several years after he died and was buried in China his body was disinterred and found to be miraculously intact.’
    • ‘In an awful silence he disinterred a little lead figure of a man in black clothes.’
    • ‘It's tremendously ghoulish this film, with dismembering and disinterring graphically depicted.’
    exhume, unearth, dig up, bring out of the ground, bring to the surface
    disentomb, unbury, ungrave
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    1. 1.1Discover (something that is well hidden)
      ‘he has disinterred an important collection of writings’
      • ‘Interpretation for Michel is not a question of disinterring the unconscious of the artist but of grasping the unconscious of the work.’
      • ‘The great achievement of the present book is that it achieves just that - by letting Godwin speak for himself, and by disinterring properly for the first time the connections that link his diverse interests.’
      • ‘Similarly, she's not hanging about to be told whether the show which made her is to be disinterred.’
      • ‘Out of respect, her family would not allow the University of Nebraska Press to disinter the ledger in 1959, even temporarily, so it could be photographed in color.’
      • ‘But that would be no different from somebody disinterring a 20-year-old volume of the Commonwealth Law Reports and recounting what happened in some case.’
      • ‘The upturn in the US economy has certainly disinterred some economic verities.’
      • ‘It has been a noticeable feature of media scrutiny of both religion and politics that the negative and the scandalous are continually disinterred to reinforce negativity.’
      • ‘For Davis to disinter capital punishment, of all issues, when he has barely begun to read his briefing documents in his new job, was a clear and deliberate signal too.’
      • ‘Civil-rights tourism is on the rise in the southern US, as the former segregationist states disinter their past.’
      • ‘It is a sad reminder of how far we have fallen back that it is necessary to disinter these elementary lessons of Empire.’
      • ‘Plans for such a move were regarded by observers as an apparent attempt to make political gains from disinterring the past of some of the governing coalition's opponents.’
      • ‘The reasons for disinterring this seemingly dead debate are not romantic, then, but instrumental.’
      • ‘Truth, meanwhile, that which is disinterred by science, Gellner describes as available to all and valid for all.’
      • ‘So it isn't so much an exasperation, but a mystification, almost amounting to irritation under questioning, that Berkovic should be disinterred from the mental plot to which the manager has evidently assigned him.’
      • ‘Yet it was not until the final chapter, in which Cagliostro's legacy - historical, cultural, philosophical - is disinterred, that I really began to care.’
      • ‘After considering the main tributaries which flow into the realist stream of thinking, the third section will attempt to disinter a core of realist principles to which all realists could subscribe.’
      discover, detect, hunt down, hunt out, unearth, uncover, turn up, dig up, seek out, ferret out, root out, nose out, bring to light, expose, recover, capture, catch, smell out, sniff out, run to earth, run to ground, run down
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Early 17th century: from French désenterrer, from dis- (expressing reversal) + enterrer to inter.