Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for September 18, 2020 is:
delve DELV verb
1 : to dig or labor with or as if with a spade
2 a : to make a careful or detailed search for information
b : to examine a subject in detail
“‘My brother and I,’ said he, ‘were, as you may imagine, much excited as to the treasure which my father had spoken of. For weeks and for months we dug and delved in every part of the garden, without discovering its whereabouts.'” — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of the Four, 1890
“They’ll soon release a second short, Climate Crisis, and Why We Should Panic. It will be voiced by Kiera Knightley, and delves into the cause of climate change and why governments must enter crisis mode to handle the issue.” — Angie Martoccio, Rolling Stone, 13 Aug. 2020
Did you know?
We must dig deep into the English language’s past to find the origins of delve. The verb traces to the early Old English word delfan and is related to the Old High German word telban, meaning “to dig.” For centuries, there was only delving—no digging—because dig didn’t exist until much later; it appears in early Middle English. Is the phrase “dig and delve” (as in the line “eleven, twelve, dig and delve,” from the nursery rhyme that begins “one, two, buckle my shoe”) redundant? Not necessarily. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, in some local uses, dig was the term for working with a mattock (a tool similar to an adze or a pick), while delve was reserved for work done using a spade.