[kav-er-nuh s]


being, resembling, or suggestive of a cavern: a vast, cavernous room.
deep-set: cavernous eyes.
hollow and deep-sounding: a cavernous voice.
containing caverns.
full of small cavities; porous.

Origin of cavernous

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Latin word cavernōsus. See cavern, -ous
Related formscav·ern·ous·ly, adverbin·ter·cav·ern·ous, adjectiveun·cav·ern·ous, adjectiveun·cav·ern·ous·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cavernous

Contemporary Examples of cavernous

Historical Examples of cavernous

  • But he inquired in a cavernous, strange tone: “Was he asleep?”

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • I followed, not into the moonlit night, but through a cavernous opening into darkness.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • It was merely a cavernous opening in a high ledge of dark rock.

  • His eyes fascinated me, and he opened his cavernous mouth as if to swallow me.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • The country is cavernous, and the only water is that of the ponds.

British Dictionary definitions for cavernous



suggestive of a cavern in vastness, darkness, etccavernous hungry eyes
filled with small cavities; porous
(of rocks) containing caverns or cavities
Derived Formscavernously, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for cavernous

c.1400, "full of caverns," from Latin cavernosus "full of cavities" (source also of Italian cavernoso, French caverneux), from caverna (see cavern). Meaning "hollow" is recorded from 1830.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cavernous in Medicine




Filled with cavities or hollow areas; porous.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.