Definition of gravedigger in US English:



  • A person who digs graves.

    • ‘‘Death will arrive early this year,’ says this bookkeeper of mortality, as he watches the sweating gravediggers plunge their spades into the hard, reddish-brown earth.’
    • ‘It also meant hospitals reduced to emergency cover by striking medical aides, and the dead left unburied by striking municipal gravediggers.’
    • ‘Finally, the gravediggers had to dig down 13 feet through the snow and into ground hardened by six weeks of frost.’
    • ‘In the first film of the festival, Ludwig, a gravedigger who has spent all his working life at the cemetery, loses his job and tries to fit into the world of the living.’
    • ‘I have decided to quit my job and become a gravedigger.’
    • ‘As always, the gravedigger, after throwing in his handful of earth, had announced in a loud voice we were all invited to the traditional ham tea in the schoolroom.’
    • ‘He said they employed two gardening staff and five gravediggers to carry out maintenance of the cemeteries including grass cutting, grave maintenance and burial ceremonies.’
    • ‘I looked all around again; over on the far side of the cemetery some of the gravediggers were filling in after a funeral earlier that morning, but no one was anywhere close.’
    • ‘The unfortunate woman stood accused of the murder of the workhouse gravedigger and pleaded her innocence to the last.’
    • ‘It spent months talking to everyone from gravediggers to doctors, deliberately avoided counting military deaths, and came up with 37,000 civilian killed.’
    • ‘He eventually found her, lying dead, so slept next to her, only for them both to be collected by the gravediggers.’
    • ‘The procedure took place at night, and, in order that the gravediggers could see what they were doing, a large fire was lit in the graveyard.’
    • ‘It is believed that shortly afterwards gravediggers stole his body, which ended up on a dissecting table in Cambridge, where a horrified acquaintance recognised it.’
    • ‘He also admits that the job of the gravedigger is a very sensitive position because, as he says himself, everyone is famous in their own right.’
    • ‘When Hamlet banters with the gravediggers, he becomes a clown himself, even if the subject matter is mortality.’
    • ‘A gravedigger at the site said more than 300 people were buried there.’
    • ‘Before sunrise, they were joined by their other children at the cemetery as gravediggers worked by spotlight to raise the small coffin.’
    • ‘In fact, for many people, they couldn't even afford the fees of the gravediggers and their loved ones were buried with other coffins in a pile.’
    • ‘At the muddy cemetery, where gravediggers have opened up two new tracts during the past three days, relatives opened the tiny coffin of the eight-year-old, touching his forehead and kissing him goodbye.’
    • ‘No final words are spoken, no ceremony is performed, and the only witness is the gravedigger.’