spe·​lunk·​ing | \ spi-ˈləŋ-kiŋ How to pronounce spelunking (audio) , ˈspē-ˌləŋ- \

Definition of spelunking

: the hobby or practice of exploring caves

Examples of spelunking in a Sentence

Her hobbies include hiking, biking, and spelunking. They love to go spelunking.
Recent Examples on the Web None of this would be possible without a lot of juridical spelunking. Luke Winkie, Wired, 19 Oct. 2021 Choose a place that was once wet—and Mars’s now-dry riverbeds, sea basins and ocean floors offer plenty of those—and do your spelunking there. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 7 Oct. 2021 This is one of the great strengths of fiction: to identify a question that’s vexing, go spelunking, and sort of … hang out. Ellen Cushing, The Atlantic, 15 May 2020 Adventure activities such as heli-skiing, off-trail snowboarding, bungee jumping, wakeboarding, Jet Skiing, spelunking, rock climbing, and scuba diving are almost always excluded from coverage in most travel insurance plans. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, Condé Nast Traveler, 10 Dec. 2019 Hop in the car and head to Mauckport in Southern Indiana for an afternoon of spelunking. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, 12 July 2019 Some have seen their task as psychic spelunking, deep exploratory work that can only be undermined by literary preciousness. Christopher Beha, Harper's magazine, 10 Mar. 2019 Accessible by elevator as well as on foot, this might be the perfect place to ease yourself into spelunking. Nicole Clausing, Sunset, 22 Jan. 2018 His first spelunking expedition there in 1982 ventured into national parklands due west of Nosy Ankao, Miavana’s island. Tom Downey, WSJ, 18 July 2018

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

1944, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spelunking

spelunk(er) + -ing entry 1

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Time Traveler for spelunking

Time Traveler

The first known use of spelunking was in 1944

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Last Updated

25 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spelunking.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spelunking. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for spelunking



English Language Learners Definition of spelunking

: the sport or practice of exploring or studying caves


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