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

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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 Where Crump once saw a dark cave, the ride now has thunder and lightning effects in a mysterious cavern, one complete with not-so-creepy insects. Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2021 Preparing a cavern for storing the hydrogen equivalent of two million barrels of oil could cost a company $25 million, says Andres Fernandez Oliva, a vice president at WSP, an environmental-engineering firm. David Hodari, WSJ, 14 May 2021 Still, Infinity Train definitely falls into a miracle cavern of demographic impossibility. Darren Franich,, 16 Apr. 2021 The company has proposed spending $16 million to test hydrogen storage at a salt cavern near Lyon in eastern France, with plans to expand the site and use others in France and England. David Hodari, WSJ, 14 May 2021 Off a balcony, and into an underground cavern full of candles and pipe organs. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 5 May 2021 Opening out of the earth, the enormous hollow cavern is connected by precarious natural bridges just begging to be photographed. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 18 Apr. 2021 Big waves explode into a coastal cavern known as Thunder Hole. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Apr. 2021 Expectations are very high on Wall Street that the economy is in the midst of exploding out of the cavern created by the pandemic. Joseph Pisani, Star Tribune, 15 Apr. 2021 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

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.

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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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Statistics for cavern

Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cavern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for cavern



English Language Learners Definition of cavern

: a large cave


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


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