I have seen the term "delve" in the context of discussions "tonight we delve into the consequences of..." or in its archaic acceptation for "excavate" but I have not really seen it as a way to convey that someone engages in an activity. I'm mostly interested that the person reading it will understand that I do photography; I'm not concerned about they realizing I do it seriously (although, ideally that would be conveyed too, it's just not a priority). I did google this exact phrase and it does show up, but none of the pages I found it in were authoritative, hence here I am asking. Thanks in advance!

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    See this definition. I think delve always has the connotation of searching, not just engaging in an activity. Jul 2, 2022 at 17:56
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    @Kate Yes; M-W also requires that the approach be in depth. Jul 2, 2022 at 18:32
  • I've always interpreted "delve", in this sense, to mean about the same as "dive". Ie, one enters the area of study with vigor, and submerses oneself in the topic.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 2, 2022 at 18:54
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    I think you could use it like this: I am delving into photography., referring to sustained research of some kind. Jul 2, 2022 at 19:04
  • Delve represents an action. It doesn’t convey the state of the entity doing the delving, other than a desire to know more at the end of the delving than they did at the beginning. A cooking class might delve into the minutae of cookie sprinkles. A researcher in biochemistry might delve into the resonant structures of large molecules. Sometimes, state can be inferred from action. With delve, the inference is pretty weak.
    – Global Charm
    Jul 2, 2022 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


"I dabble with photography now and then" : Not Serious
"I am a dilettante in photography" : Not Serious

"I am keenly into photography" : Serious
"I am skilled in photography" : Serious

Delve [ to examine something carefully ] is not suitable, which Kate Bunting has commented earlier.

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    Delving is Not Serious, too. Or either. Jul 2, 2022 at 20:54

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