cav·​ern | \ ˈka-vərn How to pronounce cavern (audio) also -vrən \

Definition of cavern

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: cave especially : one of large or indefinite extent


caverned; caverning; caverns

Definition of cavern (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to place in or as if in a cavern
2 : to form a cavern of : hollow used with out

Synonyms for cavern

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of cavern in a Sentence

Noun a cavern with beautiful stalactites
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ryder and the PAW Patrol discover a secret treasure map while on a mission to rescue Cap’n Turbot from a mysterious cavern. The Courier-Journal, 15 July 2022 Their hope is that more people can experience it—no matter what happens to the historic cavern. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 June 2022 A year later, Fuller built a wooden dance floor and installed some of the city’s first electric lights in the cavern, creating a popular entertainment destination. Wired, 10 July 2022 In addition to zip lining and aerial ropes, the cavern also offers a historic tram tour and a 90-minute walking tour. Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 23 June 2022 Each attack has left scars throughout the city, from the ruins of the Roman Forum to the cavern of the Circus Maximus where chariots once raced. Barbie Latza Nadeau With Hada Messia, CNN, 19 June 2022 Not a man cave, mind you, where heat from adjacent men is a constant threat, but an actual cavern. Eli Burnstein, The New Yorker, 13 June 2022 The afternoon progressed quickly: in the engineering room, a dark cavern full of pipes and machines, Sammie and a group of children in white and brown robes studied the schematics of the ship. Neima Jahromi, The New Yorker, 23 May 2022 One of the main anchors had been a 200,000 square foot Sears — now a dark, empty cavern waiting to be repurposed. Greg Petro, Forbes, 6 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the hunt, scientists have erected detectors in a South Dakota cavern a mile underground, at the bottom of Lake Baikal in Siberia, under a mountain in Japan, and on the floor of the Mediterranean Sea. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, 12 July 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cavern.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cavern


14th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cavern


Middle English caverne, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin caverna "hollow space, crevice, tree hole, cave," from cavus "hollow, sunken" + -erna, noun-forming suffix of uncertain origin — more at hole entry 1


derivative of cavern entry 1

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Time Traveler for cavern

Time Traveler

The first known use of cavern was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near cavern

cave pearl



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Statistics for cavern

Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cavern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for cavern


cav·​ern | \ ˈka-vərn How to pronounce cavern (audio) \

Kids Definition of cavern

: a cave often of large or unknown size


cav·​ern | \ ˈkav-ərn How to pronounce cavern (audio) \

Medical Definition of cavern

: a cavity (as in the lung) caused by disease

More from Merriam-Webster on cavern

Nglish: Translation of cavern for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cavern for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cavern


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