cav·​ern·​ous | \ ˈka-vər-nəs How to pronounce cavernous (audio) \

Definition of cavernous

1a : having caverns or cavities
b of animal tissue : composed largely of vascular sinuses and capable of dilating with blood to bring about the erection of a body part
2 : constituting or suggesting a cavern a cavernous warehouse

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Other Words from cavernous

cavernously adverb

Examples of cavernous in a Sentence

We toured the cavernous airplane hangar. The dance was held in a cavernous hall.

Recent Examples on the Web

Woodland seized control by going for the green on the par-5 14th hole with a 3-wood from 263 yards, narrowly clearing a cavernous bunker and setting up a simple up-and-down for a two-shot lead. CBS News, "Gary Woodland wins the U.S. Open, his first major title," 16 June 2019 The dancers filled and emptied the cavernous space with different props and projection surfaces in an allegory of the messes of human history, constantly torn down and made anew. Washington Post, "Reexamining opera, one classic at a time," 14 June 2019 Witness Kilauea’s lava flows, hike through cavernous lava tubes deep within the jungle, and stargaze from the slopes of of Mauna Kea— considered the Earth’s largest volcano. National Geographic, "Hawai'i High School Community Service," 12 June 2019 Those techniques were on full display during a recent rehearsal inside cavernous Stage 3 at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. Jessica Gelt,, "Who brought a 36-foot orb into Disney Hall for ‘Atlas’? Yup, that guy again," 10 June 2019 The cavernous apartment was filled with books—seemed, to the maid, to be overflowing with them. Adam O’fallon Price, Harper's magazine, "The Maid’s Story," 10 June 2019 Don’t want dirty gear to soil the rest of your luggage or get lost in a cavernous duffel? Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Patagonia Duffel Bags and Backpacks Are On Sale Now," 9 June 2019 After polishing off a skewer of lamb, Roodt invites me into his living room, a cavernous space dominated by chiaroscuro paintings of doll-like children in pastoral scenes. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "Inside an All-White Town’s Divisive Experiment With Cryptocurrency," 6 June 2019 Unlike some of Amsterdam’s equally cavernous venues, the 1,300-capacity space manages to remain intimate with plenty of side rooms to investigate. Clodagh Kinsella, Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Best Clubs in Amsterdam," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cavernous.' 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 cavernous

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cavernous

Middle English, borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Latin cavernōsus "having hollows or depressions," from caverna "hollow space, cavern entry 1" + -ōsus -ous

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Statistics for cavernous

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cavernous

The first known use of cavernous was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for cavernous



English Language Learners Definition of cavernous

of a building or room : resembling a large cave : very large


cav·​ern·​ous | \ ˈka-vər-nəs How to pronounce cavernous (audio) \

Kids Definition of cavernous

1 : having caverns or hollow places
2 : like a cavern in being large and hollow a cavernous cellar


cav·​ern·​ous | \ ˈkav-ər-nəs How to pronounce cavernous (audio) \

Medical Definition of cavernous

1 : having caverns or cavities
2 of tissue : composed largely of vascular sinuses and capable of dilating with blood to bring about the erection of a body part

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Comments on cavernous

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


to take the place or position of

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