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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. To dig; to open (the ground) as with a spade. Delve of convenient depth your thrashing floo (Dryden)

2. To dig into; to penetrate; to trace out; to fathom. I can not delve him to the root. (Shak)

Origin: as. Delfan to dig; akin to os. Bidelban to bury, D. Delven to dig, MHG. Telben, and possibly to E. Dale. Cf. Delf a mine.