cave

1 of 3

noun

plural caves
1
: a natural chamber or series of chambers in the earth or in the side of a hill or cliff
2
: a usually underground chamber for storage
a wine cave
also : the articles stored there
3
: a place providing privacy or seclusion from others
When a friend dragged her out of her cave to go salsa dancing for the first time, the rhythms … stepped into her soul … Leslie Guttman
see also man cave

cave

2 of 3

verb (1)

caved; caving

transitive verb

: to form a cave in or under

intransitive verb

: to explore caves especially as a sport or hobby
caver noun

cave

3 of 3

verb (2)

caved; caving

intransitive verb

1
: to fall in or down especially from being undermined
usually used with in
2
: to cease to resist : submit
usually used with in

transitive verb

: to cause to fall or collapse
usually used with in

Example Sentences

Noun Kentucky's Mammoth Cave is actually a series of large chambers on five levels.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin cava, noun derivative from feminine of cavus "hollow, concave" — more at hole entry 1

Verb (1)

Middle English caven, in part derivative of cave cave entry 1, in part borrowed from Latin cavāre "to hollow out" — more at excavate

Verb (2)

probably alteration of calve

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Verb (2)

1513, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cave was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near cave

Cite this Entry

“Cave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cave. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

cave 1 of 2

noun

: a natural underground chamber or series of chambers open to the surface

cave

2 of 2

verb

caved; caving
: to fall or cause to fall in or down : collapse
usually used with in

More from Merriam-Webster on cave

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