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What do you call "to dig land" with fingers? If I say “He desperately dug the soil” it sounds like the person is using a tool such as a shovel or a spade. Which verb means digging with only your fingers or fingernails?

He desperately _______ the soil.

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    Can you please give an example of how you would like to use this word?
    – herisson
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 8:09
  • Nobody has mentioned "grub" or "root". To "grub" or to "root" both convey the idea of digging by hand, or by claw.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 19:29
  • @sumelic Seriously, how difficult is it to imagine a sentence using that particular word? Agreed, often users who pose their question do not provide any context, but in this case the request is as clear as a bell. There is no confusion. Now if the OP wants to, he can modify the example I've provided, and perhaps explain "why" he needs this word.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 8:24
  • @Mari-LouA: Comments from the OP: "Here is needed a word to dig anything with fingers to get lost something in the something exactly as rabbits dig to make thier houses to live!" "I don't know why this question's been edited 'Look up' means to find word in the dictionary and 'Look for' to search somethig. some pleople are showing their talents here while they don't know what dose mean 'to look up" The first comment is quite confusing to me, but I thought it may mean there are more specific requirements for the word...
    – herisson
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 18:02
  • The second comment suggests to me that the OP may not understand the meaning of all the edits to the question. Now that it's been edited more, I have voted to re-open, but I'm still not sure if the current version of the question accurately reflects the original intended question.
    – herisson
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 18:02

3 Answers 3

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Scrabble

Scratch or grope around with one's fingers to find, collect, or hold onto something. "She scrabbled at the grassy slope, desperate for a firm grip."

Google definition

Now, she was famished, and had a fantasy of reaching down to scrabble for roots, like Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. For more than an hour, she and ...

The Perennial Killer: A Gardening Mystery by Ann Ripley

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  • Thanks for the edit, I was wondering how to cite google.
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 12:40
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You could use one of the following verbs:

You could look for narrower synonyms also called hyponyms for a word. I used dig to find narrower synonyms which are avaliable for most of the words on www.aamboli.com

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  • The website you mention seems to use other sources (eg Farlex) without attribution, which may well be infringing copyright rules. And though there is some useful material, it is confusingly presented. Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 9:58
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    The data is from an open source technology (Wordnet) and not from Farlex.
    – Aam Boli
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 10:26
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I don't think there's a word for "digging land with your fingers". If I were to put it in context, I would say, "I began digging into the ground with my hands." Hope this answers your question!

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  • Given that isn't, so be it! God has given us 10 fingers of hands. Here is needed a word to dig anything with fingers to get lost something in the something exactly as rabbits dig to make thier houses to live! Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 7:00
  • I don't know why this question's been edited "Look up" means to find word in the dictionary and "Look for" to search somethig. some pleople are showing their talents here while they don't know what dose mean 'to look up Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 7:39
  • deadrat isn't wrong. Starting a sentence with 'looking up' makes the sentence a statement of fact, meaning that you are currently looking something up. Looking for means you are actually trying to find the word.
    – RK9ify
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 8:18
  • 'I don't think there's a word for ...' almost always belongs in a comment rather than an answer. Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 9:51
  • I'll keep that in mind for next time. Shall I delete my post, then?
    – RK9ify
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 16:36

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