cave-in

[ keyv-in ]
/ ˈkeɪvˌɪn /

noun

a collapse, as of anything hollow: the worst cave-in in the history of mining.
a place or site of such a collapse.
submission to something or someone previously opposed or resisted: His cave-in to such unreasonable demands shocked us.

Origin of cave-in

First recorded in 1700–10; noun use of verb phrase cave in

Definition for cave in (2 of 2)

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
Related formscave·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for cave in (1 of 3)

cave in


verb (intr, adverb)

to collapse; subside
informal to yield completely, esp under pressure

noun cave-in

the sudden collapse of a roof, piece of ground, etc, into a hollow beneath it; subsidence
the site of such a collapse, as at a mine or tunnel
informal an instance of yielding completely, esp under pressure

British Dictionary definitions for cave in (2 of 3)

cave

1
/ (keɪv) /

noun

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

verb

(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 in (3 of 3)

cave

2
/ (ˈkeɪvɪ) British school slang /

noun

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

Science definitions for cave in

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.

Idioms and Phrases with cave in

cave in


1

Fall in, collapse, as in The earthquake made the walls cave in. [Early 1700s]

2

Give in, admit defeat, as in The prosecutor's questions soon made the witness cave in. [Early 1800s]

3

Collapse, faint, or die from exhaustion, as in After a twenty-mile hike I caved in. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.