v. delved, delv·ing, delves
1. To search deeply and laboriously: delved through the court records.
a. To research or make inquiries into something: scientists delving into gene regulation.
b. To undertake an activity or occupation undeterred by difficulty or uncertainty: delved into writing a blog.
c. To discuss or explain something, especially in detail: The article delves into the problems facing the banking system.
3. To enter or move into an area in which movement is difficult: The explorers delved into the forest.
4. To dig the ground, as with a spade.
Archaic To dig (ground) with a spade.
[Middle English delven, to dig, from Old English delfan.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.