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cav·​ern ˈka-vərn How to pronounce cavern (audio)
 also  -vrən
: cave
especially : one of large or indefinite extent


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caverned; caverning; caverns

transitive verb

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

Examples of cavern in a Sentence

Noun a cavern with beautiful stalactites
Recent Examples on the Web
This park includes over 15 trails that allow visitors to explore tunnels, caverns, springs and other natural areas. Cora Hall, Kansas City Star, 30 Jan. 2024 The Moaning Caverns/Vallecito exit is about 5 miles north off Highway 4. Ironstone Vineyards and Alchemy (Murphys) Some might need a drink after surviving the cavern experience. Sacramento Bee, 30 Jan. 2024 Today, visitors can see the stunning formations throughout the cave on various excursions, including an Adventure Tour that travels to an undeveloped section deep in the cavern. Amanda Ogle, Travel + Leisure, 25 Jan. 2024 Toward the cavern with pillars shaped like icicles. Emily Davies, Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2024 The project is part of an audacious plan to create hydrogen, which produces no carbon dioxide when burned, and store it in caverns until electricity is needed. Henry Fountain Nina Riggio, New York Times, 12 Jan. 2024 Discovered in 1960 by local cavers, Natural Bridge Caverns is the largest cavern in Texas and continued to be explored regularly. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 8 Nov. 2023 The caverns are created by a process called solution mining, in which a well is drilled into the salt and high-pressure water is pumped down. Henry Fountain Nina Riggio, New York Times, 12 Jan. 2024 Travelers can easily spend the entire day exploring these captivating caverns, admiring the mystical stalagmites and stalactites, and spotting wildlife like bats and cougars. Lauren Dana Ellman, Travel + Leisure, 1 Jan. 2024
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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cavern.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near cavern

Cite this Entry

“Cavern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a cave often of large or unknown size

Medical Definition


cav·​ern ˈkav-ərn How to pronounce cavern (audio)
: a cavity (as in the lung) caused by disease

More from Merriam-Webster on cavern

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