cave

1 of 3

noun

plural caves
1
: a natural chamber or series of chambers in the earth or in the side of a hill or cliff
2
: a usually underground chamber for storage
a wine cave
also : the articles stored there
3
: a place providing privacy or seclusion from others
When a friend dragged her out of her cave to go salsa dancing for the first time, the rhythms … stepped into her soul …Leslie Guttman
see also man cave

cave

2 of 3

verb (1)

caved; caving

transitive verb

: to form a cave in or under

intransitive verb

: to explore caves especially as a sport or hobby
caver noun

cave

3 of 3

verb (2)

caved; caving

intransitive verb

1
: to fall in or down especially from being undermined
usually used with in
2
: to cease to resist : submit
usually used with in

transitive verb

: to cause to fall or collapse
usually used with in

Examples of cave in a Sentence

Noun Kentucky's Mammoth Cave is actually a series of large chambers on five levels. Verb (2) the wall caved in when a tree fell on it I caved in to my bibliomania and bought two more books last week
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Mammoth Cave National Park, located in south central Kentucky, spans more than 52,000 acres and is home to the world's longest cave system, according to the National Park Service. Marina Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 8 June 2024 One cartoon in the book shows two cave men chatting. Anne Stein, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 June 2024
Verb
Instead of caving in, the northern European country asked for help. Didi Tang, Fortune Asia, 27 May 2024 Nevertheless, Kalra caved to pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union of California and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. Fraidy Reiss, The Mercury News, 24 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for cave 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cave.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin cava, noun derivative from feminine of cavus "hollow, concave" — more at hole entry 1

Verb (1)

Middle English caven, in part derivative of cave cave entry 1, in part borrowed from Latin cavāre "to hollow out" — more at excavate

Verb (2)

probably alteration of calve

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Verb (2)

1513, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cave was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near cave

Cite this Entry

“Cave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cave. Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

cave

1 of 2 noun
: a natural underground chamber or series of chambers open to the surface

cave

2 of 2 verb
caved; caving
: to fall or cause to fall in or down : collapse
usually used with in

More from Merriam-Webster on cave

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