cav·​i·​ty | \ˈka-və-tē \
plural cavities

Definition of cavity 

1 : an unfilled space within a mass especially : a hollowed-out space

2 : an area of decay in a tooth : caries

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Examples of cavity in a Sentence

Some birds nest in tree cavities. I had two cavities filled at the dentist's.

Recent Examples on the Web

Youcan guess what happened next: A cavity that cost a staggering amount of money. Vogue, "How Much Should You Really Be Saving in Your 20s?," 7 Nov. 2018 Your inhalations draw some of these molecules into a cavity between your eyes just above the roof of your mouth. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 Stuff garlic, lemon, half of onions, and 6 sprigs rosemary into main cavity. Woman's Day Test Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Dry-Brined Lemon-Rosemary Roasted Turkey," 24 Oct. 2018 His home was an open cavity, a carcass of wood and charred metal in the snow. Isobella Jade, SELF, "Carrying My Father's Memory, and His Coffee Cup," 18 Oct. 2018 If the common element tuckpointing — and/or waterproof membrane underneath the masonry — is insufficient or deteriorated such that water is penetrating into the building cavity, the board must repair the water infiltration as a common expense. Howard Dakoff,, "What to do if water leaks into your condo unit," 7 June 2017 Plaque buildup, loose or broken teeth or cavities are other causes of stinky breath. Heidi Mitchell, WSJ, "Is There a Cure for My Dog’s Bad Breath?," 10 Oct. 2018 Rough out the entire underlying structure—cheekbones, eye sockets, nose, and mouth cavity—before adding details such as wrinkles and teeth. Popular Mechanics, "How to Carve a Pumpkin Like a Pro," 31 Aug. 2018 Ultimately, Laney's uterus ruptured, which means the organ's abdominal cavity wall tore open. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, "Walker Hayes and His Wife Laney Open Up About Their Newborn Daughter's Heartbreaking Death," 22 Aug. 2018

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

1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cavity

borrowed from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French cavité, borrowed from Late Latin cavitāt-, cavitās, from Latin cavus "hollow, concave" + -itāt-, -itās -ity — more at hole entry 1

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Statistics for cavity

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cavity

The first known use of cavity was in 1541

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More Definitions for cavity



English Language Learners Definition of cavity

: a hole or space inside something

: a hole formed in a tooth by decay


cav·​i·​ty | \ˈka-və-tē \
plural cavities

Kids Definition of cavity

1 : a small hole formed in a tooth by decay

2 : a hollow place The explosion left a cavity in the ground.


cav·​i·​ty | \ˈkav-ət-ē \
plural cavities

Medical Definition of cavity 

1 : an unfilled space within a mass

2 : an area of decay in a tooth : caries

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More from Merriam-Webster on cavity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cavity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cavity

Spanish Central: Translation of cavity

Nglish: Translation of cavity for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on cavity

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


a nest or breeding place

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