Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

cave

play
noun \ˈkāv\

Simple Definition of cave

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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cave

  1. 1 :  a natural chamber or series of chambers in the earth or in the side of a hill or cliff

  2. 2 :  a usually underground chamber for storage <a wine cave>; also :  the articles stored there

Examples of cave in a sentence

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



Origin and Etymology 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


2

cave

verb

Definition of cave

caved

caving

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to form a cave in or under

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to explore caves especially as a sport or hobby

caver

play \ˈkā-vər\ noun


15th Century

First Known Use of cave

15th century


3

cave

play
verb \ˈkāv\

Definition of cave

caved

caving

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to fall in or down especially from being undermined —usually used with in

  3. 2 :  to cease to resist :  submit —usually used with in

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to cause to fall or collapse —usually used with in



Origin and Etymology of cave

probably alteration of calve


First Known Use: 1513



CAVE Defined for Kids

1

cave

play
noun \ˈkāv\

Definition of cave for Students

  1. :  a large hollow place formed by natural processes in the side of a hill or cliff or underground




2

cave

play
verb

Definition of cave for Students

caved

caving

  1. :  to fall or cause to fall in or down :  collapse <The mine caved in.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cave? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a talk on a religious or moral theme

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

rebellion torrent megillah interruption
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ