cavity

noun

cav·​i·​ty ˈka-və-tē How to pronounce cavity (audio)
plural cavities
1
: an unfilled space within a mass
especially : a hollowed-out space
2
: an area of decay in a tooth : caries

Example Sentences

Some birds nest in tree cavities. I had two cavities filled at the dentist's.
Recent Examples on the Web The inspection, while not involving a cavity search, was the most thorough a Cleveland pitcher has undergone since Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry, the noted spitball pitcher. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 10 Sep. 2022 Using strong kitchen shears, cut along each side of the backbone from one end of the cavity to the other to remove the spine. Mackensy Lunsford, USA TODAY, 20 Aug. 2022 This soil mingled with remnants of the abdominal cavity and its contents, including the eggs of worms that lived in the intestines while the corpse was alive. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Aug. 2022 Step 5Carefully tilt turkey to empty juices from cavity into pan. Kate Merker, Good Housekeeping, 11 Nov. 2022 Sprinkle a little of the salt just inside the cavity and on the backbone. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Oct. 2022 Recognizable symptoms of the disease include swollen head, neck, tongue or eyelids and a bloody discharge from the nasal cavity. Hartford Courant, 28 Sep. 2022 Nasal saline sprays and irrigation washes, which can work to soften mucus and wash it out of the nasal cavity alongside any irritating infections or allergic particles. Emilia Benton, Men's Health, 29 Aug. 2022 The coronavirus often causes swelling in the olfactory cleft, that is, the passages in the upper part of the nasal cavity where humans perceive the sense of smell and process flavor beyond basic tastes like sour or bitter. Evan Bush, NBC News, 27 July 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cavity was in 1541

Dictionary Entries Near cavity

Cite this Entry

“Cavity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cavity. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

cavity

noun

cav·​i·​ty ˈkav-ət-ē How to pronounce cavity (audio)
plural cavities
1
: a hollow place
especially : an unfilled bodily space
lung cavity
2
: a hole hollowed out in a tooth by decay

Medical Definition

cavity

noun

cav·​i·​ty ˈkav-ət-ē How to pronounce cavity (audio)
plural cavities
1
: an unfilled space within a mass
2
: an area of decay in a tooth : caries

More from Merriam-Webster on cavity

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