grot·​to | \ ˈgrä-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce grotto (audio) \
plural grottoes also grottos

Definition of grotto

1 : cave
2 : an artificial recess or structure made to resemble a natural cave

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Synonyms for grotto


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Examples of grotto in a Sentence

at the heart of the shrine is a small rocky grotto into which pilgrims can descend
Recent Examples on the Web Shepherds stayed in such grotto caves to watch their flocks, and today this one is encased in a barrack-like building. Elaine Ayala,, "From Bethlehem to San Antonio, Guadalupe’s image is constant," 12 Dec. 2019 The coming-of-age novel, Per’s sentimental education, will now begin in earnest, as the dark, religious family grotto recedes into the distance of legend. James Wood, The New Yorker, "A Neglected Modern Masterpiece and Its Perverse Hero," 14 Oct. 2019 The church, built over the grotto where Christians believe Jesus was born, is in Bethlehem, a city in the Palestinian territories. Nadeem Muaddi, CNN, "'Jeopardy!' is criticized for stating the Church of the Nativity is in Israel," 12 Jan. 2020 The sparkling-wine producer Schramsberg takes all guests on a tour of its 2.5 miles of grotto, where its millions of bottles are lodged into the walls, aging en tirage. Esther Mobley,, "What does Hall winery’s wine cave tell us about Pete Buttigieg?," 20 Dec. 2019 The true gem of the property, the private lake, boasts all of the amenities of a real water park including a beach entry, grotto, rock waterfall, water slide, zipline, fountain and outdoor palapa. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Just-listed $5M Richmond estate comes with a stunning private lake water park," 5 Nov. 2019 Visitors can walk through the grotto, touching the walls, sometimes as a priest conducts Mass in front. Chris O'brien,, "A rebirth for Lourdes, France, driven somewhat by the saintly life of Bernadette," 11 July 2019 The glacier contains an ice grotto that’s been carved out every year since 1870 and is a major tourist attraction and residents are trying to keep it from melting away. USA Today, "10 years to save planet Earth: Here are 6 imaginative climate change solutions," 24 Dec. 2019 For those enamored of our nature’s subterranean wonders, venture to the Drach Caves, where tumbling grottoes of limestone boast millions of crisp white stalactites. Samantha Karlin, Washington Post, "Bypass Ibiza’s crowds and parties for Majorca’s beauty and tranquility," 18 Dec. 2019

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

1617, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for grotto

Italian grotta, grotto, from Latin crypta cavern, crypt

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Time Traveler for grotto

Time Traveler

The first known use of grotto was in 1617

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Statistics for grotto

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grotto.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for grotto


How to pronounce grotto (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of grotto

: a small cave


grot·​to | \ ˈgrä-tō How to pronounce grotto (audio) \
plural grottoes

Kids Definition of grotto

2 : an artificial structure like a cave

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More from Merriam-Webster on grotto

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grotto

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grotto

Spanish Central: Translation of grotto

Nglish: Translation of grotto for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about grotto

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