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dig (one's) heels in
To cling stubbornly to one's beliefs, position, or wishes. Please let me tell my side of the story before you dig your heels in on this, OK? I told Grace she can't go, and now she's dug her heels in as if this party is the most important thing in her life.
dig (one's) own grave
To do something that has or will have negative consequences that are easily able to be foreseen. If you don't turn in your project, you're digging your own grave. There's no way you'll get a decent grade without it! I'm afraid I'm digging my own grave by turning down the promotion.
dig (one's) way out (of something)
To extricate or disentangle oneself from some difficult situation, especially with intense effort or determination. I spent the better part of a year digging my way out of a toxic relationship, but it was absolutely worth it. Our financial firm helps businesses dig their way out of debt. They were down by 21 points at halftime, but they managed to dig their way out in the second half and win the game.
1. To exert oneself mentally or physically. I was so exhausted when overtime started that I really had to dig deep to keep playing.
2. To spend a lot of money on something. We had to dig deep after our construction budget ballooned beyond what we had planned.
1. Literally, to dig a hole into something, such as the ground. I had to dig down and create holes in the soil before I could plant the flowers.
2. To spend one's money. We had to dig down after our construction budget ballooned beyond what we had planned.
dig for (something)
1. Literally, to dig in search of something that has been buried. My dog has been digging for something out in the yard all morning—I wonder if he buried a bone.
2. By extension, to investigate in an attempt to uncover information about someone or something, often negative information. I've been digging for scandalous information on her but have been unsuccessful so far.
dig for dirt (on someone or something)
To search for scandalous or damaging information about someone or something. I'll ask my usual sources at the tabloids to start digging for dirt on that actress. She can’t treat you like that and get away with it. The politician's lawyer has been digging for dirt, but so far he hasn't found anything to tarnish their opponent's campaign.
dig in (one's) heels
To cling stubbornly to one's beliefs or wishes. Please let me tell my side of the story before you dig in your heels on this, OK? Well, I told Grace she can't go, and now she's dug in her heels as if this party is the most important thing in her life.
dig in(to) (something)
1. Literally, to dig a hole into something, such as the ground. I had to dig into the soil and create a hole for the flowers.
2. To investigate in an attempt to uncover information about someone or something, often negative information. I've been digging into the archives for any information on her past, but I haven't found a single thing.
3. To start eating, often eagerly or excitedly. Well, dig in before your dinner gets cold. Mom's lasagna is always so good—I can't wait to dig into it!
4. To work energetically. Thanks to the whole department digging in, we were able to get that report finished on time.
5. To poke or prod someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "dig" and "in" to refer either to the person or thing being jabbed or to the thing doing the jabbing. The dog might bite you if you keep digging it in its side like that. I dug a toothpick into the cake to see if it was fully cooked.
6. To create protective trenches, as in trench warfare. Once we're dug in here, I think we'll be able to hold this area.
7. To place one's hands in something, usually in an attempt to find something. Here, dig into my purse and see if you can find my sunglasses.
See also: dig
slang To understand, approve of, or enjoy something. We're going to start a true people's campaign, for the people, by the people—you dig it? Avant-garde theater isn't to everyone's taste, but I really dig it, personally.
See also: dig
1. To create an exit by channeling, tunneling, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dig" and "out." The groundhog dug out of its burrow and advanced on my herb garden.
2. To remove something from something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dig" and "out." Paulina was careful to dig every last raisin out of the cookie.
3. To locate something after searching for it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dig" and "out." After a few minutes, I was finally able to dig my sunglasses out of my purse.
4. To remove an excess accumulation of something, such as snow or mud. It'll be days before we're able to dig out from this blizzard. Rescue crews have been helping the residents dig out after the mudslide.
dig out of (something)
To create an exit out of something by channeling, tunneling, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dig" and "out." The groundhog dug out of its burrow and advanced on my herb garden.
dig some dirt up
To uncover negative information about someone or something. Once I contact my usual sources at the tabloids, I should be able to dig some dirt up on that actress.
dig the dirt
To find negative information that has been concealed. Once I contact my usual sources at the tabloids, I should be able to dig the dirt up on that actress.
1. Literally, to overturn soil or a similar substance by digging. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dig" and "up." That darn groundhog has dug up my herb garden for the second year in a row.
2. To unearth or uproot something by digging. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dig" and "up." The dog keeps burying bones and digging them up.
3. To search for and find something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dig" and "up." If you give me some time, I'm sure I can dig up the deed to the house.
4. To uncover negative information about someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dig" and "up." Once I contact my usual sources at the tabloids, I should be able to dig up some dirt on that actress.
5. slang Listen! Hey, the boss is talking—dig up!
dig up (one's) tomahawk
To become angry. Of course he dug up his tomahawk—you insulted him in front of the whole town!
dig up dirt
To uncover negative information about someone or something. Once I contact my usual sources at the tabloids, I should be able to dig up the dirt on that actress. I don't care what the opposition does. I'm running a clean campaign, so I don't want anyone on my team digging up dirt, understand?
dig up dirt on (someone or something)
To uncover negative and potentially damaging information about someone or something. Once I contact my usual sources at the tabloids, I should be able to dig up the dirt on that actress. He was thrown in jail for digging up dirt on the local government. No, I don't want anyone digging up dirt on the opposition. I'm running a clean campaign here.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
dig downand dig deep
1. . Lit. to excavate deeply. They are really having to dig deep to reach bedrock. We are not to the buried cable yet. We will have to dig down some more.
2. Fig. to be generous; to dig deep into one's pockets and come up with as much money as possible to donate to something. (As if digging into one's pocket.) Please dig down. We need every penny you can spare. Dig down deep. Give all you can.
dig out (of something)
to channel or excavate one's way out of something. The miner had to dig out of the cave-in. They were too exhausted to dig out.
dig some dirt up (on someone)
Fig. to find out something bad about someone. If you don't stop trying to dig some dirt up on me, I'll get a lawyer and sue you. The citizens' group dug up some dirt on the mayor and used it against her at election time.
dig someone or something up
Fig. to go to great effort to find someone or something. (There is an implication that the thing or person dug up is not the most desirable, but is all that could be found.) Mary dug a date up for the dance next Friday. I dug up a recipe for roast pork with pineapple. I dug up a carpenter who doesn't charge very much.
dig something out
Fig. to work hard to locate something and bring it forth. They dug the contract out of the file cabinet. I dug out an old dress and wore it to the Fifties party.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Pay with money from one's own pocket; be generous. For example, We've got to dig down deep to make the next payment. [Colloquial; c. 1940]
1. Extract, remove, as in He was determined to dig out every bit of metal he could find. [Late 1300s]
2. Find by searching for, as in He dug out his first contract from the file. [Mid-1800s]
1. Search out, find, obtain, as in I'm sure I can dig up a few more supporters. [Mid-1800s]
2. dig up some dirt or the dirt . Find derogatory information about someone or something. For example, The editor assigned him to dig up all the dirt on the candidates. The slangy use of the noun dirt for "embarrassing or scandalous information" dates from about 1840, but this metaphoric expression is a century newer.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
dig up dirtBRITISH & AMERICAN or
dig the dirtBRITISH
COMMON If you dig up dirt or dig the dirt on someone, you look for harmful or shocking information about them. They hired a detective firm to dig up dirt on their rival. Note: You can also say that you dig for dirt. Reporters even go through trash cans digging for dirt on celebrities. Note: You can describe this activity as dirt-digging. In the movie, a dirt-digging reporter is framed by a corrupt district attorney and sentenced for manslaughter.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
dig deep1 give money or other resources generously. 2 make a great effort to do something. informal
The idea here is of thrusting your hands deep into your pockets to find money with which to pay for something.
2 1991 Sports Illustrated You really have to dig deep night after night to get up for every game.
dig the dirt (or dig up dirt)discover and reveal damaging information about someone. informal
Dirt is commonly used as a metaphor for unsavoury gossip or scandal, as in, for example, dish the dirt (see dish).
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1 search thoroughly for information: You’ll need to dig deep into the records to find the figures you want.
2 try hard to provide the money, equipment, etc. that is needed: We’re asking you to dig deep for the earthquake victims.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. To create a space or structure by digging: The fox dug a shelter out of the dense earth. The workers dug out a moat around the castle.
2. To create some pathway that leads from some place by digging: The prisoners dug a tunnel out of the dungeon.
3. To expose, gain access to, or free something by digging and removing what surrounds it: They worked around the clock to dig out the city after the blizzard. The nurse dug the splinter out of my finger with a needle.
4. To emerge or become accessible by or as if by digging: It took three weeks for the village to dig out after the mudslide.
1. To unearth or expose and gain access to something by digging: The scientists dug up a dinosaur fossil. The landscapers dug the tree up and replanted it.
2. To scatter earth, snow, or another substance on some surface by digging into it: The woodchucks dug up my lawn last night.
3. To discover or find something through concerted effort: I dug up some old photos that were in the back of my closet. The detective intended to dig the truth up.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.