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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for grotto


antre, cave, cavern, delve [archaic], grot

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Pratt added four floors, creating more than 50 mountain-view rooms, as well as the aforementioned spa, which houses six treatment rooms, a grotto-sized hot tub, an oxygen bar and a yoga studio and gym. Jane Larkworthy, ELLE Decor, "Snow Pine Lodge Brings a New Level of Luxury to Alta," 28 Mar. 2019 Legend has it, Sperlonga was a stop on Odysseus's journey, and a group of ancient sculptures depicting scenes from the Odyssey were found in the grotto adjacent to the villa. Laura Itzkowitz, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Best Day Trips from Rome," 5 Mar. 2018 Pinch your nose skin to see a few: Thin noodles of dead skin that eject from your pores like eels from undersea grottoes. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "A Comprehensive Guide to the SkincareAddiction Subreddit," 5 Apr. 2019 Imagine descending a staircase on the shore, and finding yourself in an underwater oasis—18-feet below the water’s surface—that rivals Ariel’s grotto in The Little Mermaid. Samantha Swenson, ELLE Decor, "Snøhetta Debuts Europe's First Underwater Restaurant," 28 Mar. 2019 The all-new resort will have 59 rooms and suites and 19 dorm-style bunk rooms—all with a slope-side heated pool, hot tubs, spa, indoor grotto, oxygen bar, fire pits, game and movie rooms, ski lockers, bar, and restaurant. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "If You're Skiing the Rockies This Winter, Read This First," 4 Dec. 2018 The sprawling oasis has an amphitheater, classical Roman statues, grottos, ponds, fountains, and an abundance of flowers. Vogue, "These Are the 6 Gucci-Approved Places to Travel in 2019," 22 Jan. 2019 The ceiling of the grotto is equipped with programmable LED light strips to further the artlike effect. Elle Decor Staff, ELLE Decor, "9 One-Of-A-Kind Backyards," 15 Apr. 2014 After entering the museum, visitors will pass through a natural mountain rock grotto. Natalia Rachlin, WSJ, "A New Museum is Putting This Swiss Alps Town on the Map," 12 Dec. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grotto

Statistics for grotto

Last Updated

7 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grotto

The first known use of grotto was in 1617

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for grotto



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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on grotto

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grotto

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grotto

Spanish Central: Translation of grotto

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

Comments on grotto

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


using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!