spe·​lunk·​ing spi-ˈləŋ-kiŋ How to pronounce spelunking (audio)
: the hobby or practice of exploring caves

Example Sentences

Her hobbies include hiking, biking, and spelunking. They love to go spelunking.
Recent Examples on the Web That led to other activities, including basketball, white-water rafting, spelunking, zip-lining and leading hiking groups. Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2023 National archives, especially Presidential archives, are like a weird form of historical spelunking. Amy Shira Teitel, Discover Magazine, 27 Apr. 2019 If your business is built around one key player, what is your backup plan if they get hit by a bus tomorrow or decide to fully follow their passion for international spelunking? Samuel Johnston, Forbes, 12 Aug. 2022 The arc of Ancestor Trouble ends up being a subtle move from a process of genealogical spelunking to one of gentle exorcism. Colin Dickey, The New Republic, 21 Mar. 2022 The upshot, Butler writes, is that the Method has been diluted by other acting styles that don’t privilege psychological spelunking or total authenticity—think of the Brat Pack, or Bruce Willis. Jordan Kisner, The Atlantic, 1 Feb. 2022 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 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1944, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spelunking was in 1944

Dictionary Entries Near spelunking

Cite this Entry

“Spelunking.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spelunking. Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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