Definition of unearth in English:



  • 1Find (something) in the ground by digging:

    ‘workmen unearthed an ancient artillery shell’
    • ‘A number of Bronze Age cremation pits were discovered along the route and pieces of ancient pottery were unearthed.’
    • ‘Up to 2,000 people face a second night out of their homes while Army bomb disposal teams work to stabilise a 1,000 lb Second World War bomb unearthed by workmen.’
    • ‘Army bomb squad experts rushed to Cranfield on Monday after workmen unearthed an unexploded mortar.’
    • ‘During the process he also unearths human bones.’
    • ‘A 66-year-old man from New Addington has unearthed a fossil in his back garden which is thought to be up to 90 million years old.’
    • ‘The man that helped to trigger all the excitement by unearthing the Viking relic, Dalton metal detector enthusiast David Mortimer-Kelly, is also hard at work scanning for more artefacts.’
    • ‘A high school student unearthed the ancient remains of the new species three years ago in the Patagonia region of Argentina.’
    • ‘The goatskin manuscripts of these ancient psalms were unearthed near the Dead Sea ruins of Qumran in 1948.’
    • ‘British archaeologists are enriched not impoverished if one of their colleagues from another country unearths a key bit of the jigsaw of an ancient civilisation.’
    • ‘It was unearthed by workmen in Leeds in 1852, and the bones are believed to have been part of a Great Northern Hippopotamus.’
    • ‘No one was more excited than archaeologist Eli Shukron, who was there when the steps to the ancient pool were unearthed.’
    • ‘Professor Quatermass is called in when building work unearths an ancient skull, which appears to challenge conceptions of man's origins.’
    • ‘The exhumers, Sheffield-based UK Exhumation Service Ltd, have already accidentally unearthed a historic crypt, when the ground collapsed under the weight of a digger.’
    • ‘The workmen appear to have unearthed a section of root from a plant which grew in the prehistoric equivalent of the mangrove swamps found today around the Amazon or Northern Australia.’
    • ‘On the island, the father unearths a box and hides it in the boat.’
    • ‘A team of volunteers is hoping to unearth the remains of classrooms of a ground-breaking but forgotten Bradford school.’
    • ‘Volunteers working for the Royal Tyrrell Museum ‘can enjoy the thrill of unearthing the intricate fossils that add to our knowledge of these giants from the past.’’
    • ‘A village historical society is breaking new ground - by using moles to unearth treasures from the past.’
    • ‘Following last year's trench excavation at the site by Channel Four's Time Team, experts, students and local volunteers have returned to the grounds to unearth the remains of Sion Abbey.’
    • ‘When Koff unearths the body of a child who has a pocket full of marbles, she muses over the tragedy of the situation.’
    dig up, excavate, exhume, disinter, bring to the surface, mine, quarry, pull out, root out, scoop out, disentomb, unbury
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    1. 1.1 Discover (something hidden, lost, or kept secret) by investigation or searching:
      ‘they have done all they can to unearth the truth’
      • ‘Gradually, the Chicago news media unearthed and exposed the truth.’
      • ‘Just as gradually as it dawned on me that this was non-fiction, it also began to dawn on me that there is only so much truth that can be unearthed in the biography of a compulsive liar.’
      • ‘There is a significant level of crime which needs to be unearthed, investigated and prosecuted.’
      • ‘For a while, the progression of their relationship echoes the discoveries they unearth about Ash and Christabel.’
      • ‘If this investigation should unearth anything untoward, payments could be stopped.’
      • ‘It will be interesting to see if, following his death, a secret lover, male or female, is unearthed.’
      • ‘It might have been economic reasons, but a more grisly truth is being unearthed at a church nearby.’
      • ‘However, investigators were unable to unearth conclusive documentary evidence to support the allegations.’
      • ‘The site is known for unearthing legal records that shed new light, often embarrassing light, on actors, politicians, even reality show contestants.’
      • ‘Kwan unearths copious clips from her films and interviews the veterans who knew her, as well as telling her story in dramatic form.’
      • ‘It was the military's subsequent investigations that unearthed almost all of the disturbing details and photographs used by critics to castigate this department.’
      • ‘Those who approach it like this will discover that there are rewards to be unearthed.’
      • ‘Deborah says something cruel to Carla to deny the truth that Carla unearthed.’
      • ‘The movie performs a kind of archaeology of crime, unearthing the secrets that lie beneath secrets, and discovering finally the bottomlessness of every mystery.’
      • ‘David Ades writes some excellent notes and the project deserves continued encouragement for its capacity to unearth some long lost recorded treasures from the dusty archives.’
      • ‘Although drafts have been produced in evidence no signed document has been unearthed despite a search of all the residents' files.’
      • ‘‘In reality it is only through the thoroughness of investigation of the more recent offences that we have unearthed these striking similarities,’ he said.’
      • ‘He added that no evidence of impropriety had been unearthed during the course of an internal investigation carried out on the company's behalf.’
      • ‘She searched through her small shopping bags, and unearthed something very small.’
      • ‘The present book breaks new ground, unearthing a treasure trove of visual delights as well as a profusion of new information.’
      discover, uncover, find, come across, hit on, strike on, encounter, track down, bring to light, reveal, expose, elicit, turn up, dredge up, ferret out, hunt out, fish out, nose out, sniff out, smell out, take the wraps off
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  • 2Drive (an animal, especially a fox) out of a hole or burrow.