Origin of cave

1175–1225; Middle English < Old French < Late Latin cava (feminine singular), Latin cava, neuter plural of cavum hole, noun use of neuter of cavus hollow


cave·like, adjective

Definition for cave (2 of 2)

cave canem
[ kah-we kah-nem; English key-vee key-nuh m, kah-vey ]
/ ˈkɑ wɛ ˈkɑ nɛm; English ˈkeɪ vi ˈkeɪ nəm, ˈkɑ veɪ /


beware of the dog.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for cave

British Dictionary definitions for cave (1 of 2)

/ (keɪv) /


an underground hollow with access from the ground surface or from the sea, often found in limestone areas and on rocky coastlines
British history a secession or a group seceding from a political party on some issueSee Adullamite
(modifier) living in caves


(tr) to hollow out
See also cave in, caving

Word Origin for cave

C13: from Old French, from Latin cava, plural of cavum cavity, from cavus hollow

British Dictionary definitions for cave (2 of 2)

/ (ˈkeɪvɪ) British school slang /


guard or lookout (esp in the phrase keep cave)

sentence substitute

watch out!

Word Origin for cave

from Latin cavē! beware!
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for cave

[ kāv ]

A naturally occurring underground hollow or passage, especially one with an opening to the surface of the Earth. Caves can form through a variety of processes, including the dissolution of limestone by flowing water, the differential cooling of volcanic magma (which occurs when the outside surface of the lava cools, but the inside continues to flow downwards, forming a hollow tube), or the action of wind and waves along a rocky coast.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.