noun \ˈkāv\

: a large hole that was formed by natural processes in the side of a cliff or hill or under the ground

Full Definition of CAVE

:  a natural chamber or series of chambers in the earth or in the side of a hill or cliff
:  a usually underground chamber for storage <a wine cave>; also :  the articles stored there

Examples of CAVE

  1. <Kentucky's Mammoth Cave is actually a series of large chambers on five levels.>

Origin of CAVE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin cava, from cavus hollow; akin to Greek koilos hollow, and probably to Greek kyein to be pregnant — more at cyme
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, mesa, sedimentary, silt, swale



Definition of CAVE

transitive verb
:  to form a cave in or under
intransitive verb
:  to explore caves especially as a sport or hobby
cav·er \ˈkā-vər\ noun

First Known Use of CAVE

15th century


verb \ˈkāv\

Definition of CAVE

intransitive verb
:  to fall in or down especially from being undermined —usually used with in
:  to cease to resist :  submit —usually used with in
transitive verb
:  to cause to fall or collapse —usually used with in

Origin of CAVE

probably alteration of calve
First Known Use: 1513


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Naturally formed underground cavity. A cave often consists of a number of underground chambers, constituting a series of caverns. An assemblage of such caverns interconnected by smaller passageways makes up a cave system. Primary caves, such as lava tubes and coral caves, develop during the time when the host matrix is solidifying or being deposited. Secondary caves, such as marine grottoes, originate after the host matrix has been deposited or consolidated. Most caves are of the latter type, including solution caves formed by the chemical dissolution of a soluble host rock that has been weakened by fracturing and mechanical erosion; Mammoth Cave and Carlsbad Caverns are examples of solution caves.


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