[ keyv-in ]
/ ˈkeɪvˌɪn /
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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.
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Origin of cave-in

First recorded in 1700–10; noun use of verb phrase cave in
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use cave-in in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cave-in

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
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with cave-in

cave in


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


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


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.