[ keyv ]
See synonyms for cave on
  1. a hollow in the earth, especially one opening more or less horizontally into a hill, mountain, etc.

  2. a storage cellar, especially for wine.

  1. English History. a secession, or a group of seceders, from a political party on some special question.

verb (used with object),caved, cav·ing.
  1. to hollow out.

  2. Mining.

    • to cause (overlying material) to fall into a stope, sublevel, or the like.

    • to cause (supports, as stulls or sets) to collapse beneath overlying material.

    • to fill (a stope or the like) with caved-in material: sub-level caving.

verb (used without object),caved, cav·ing.
  1. to cave in.

Verb Phrases
  1. cave in,

    • to fall in; collapse.

    • to cause to fall in or collapse.

    • Informal. to yield; submit; surrender: The opposition caved in before our superior arguments.

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

Other words from cave

  • cavelike, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cave in a sentence

  • Many of the text illustrations of this volume are reproductions of originals found in the caves and rock shelters of France.K.

    The Later Cave-Men | Katharine Elizabeth Dopp
  • Buzot was then an exile, pursued by unrelenting fury, and concealed in the caves of St. Emilion.

  • In most cases the roofs over these sea caves fall in, so that the structure is known as a chasm.

    Outlines of the Earth's History | Nathaniel Southgate Shaler
  • The only remains of primitive man known are those found in caves and rock shelters.

    Man And His Ancestor | Charles Morris
  • I know there were a lot of huge subterranean caves discovered in 1909, Gale answered.

British Dictionary definitions for cave (1 of 2)


/ (keɪv) /

  1. an underground hollow with access from the ground surface or from the sea, often found in limestone areas and on rocky coastlines

  2. British history a secession or a group seceding from a political party on some issue: See Adullamite

  1. (modifier) living in caves

  1. (tr) to hollow out

Origin of 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 /

  1. guard or lookout (esp in the phrase keep cave)

sentence substitute
  1. watch out!

Origin of 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 ]

  1. 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.