[ kav-i-tee ]
/ ˈkæv ɪ ti /
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See synonyms for: cavity / cavities on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural cav·i·ties.
any hollow place; hollow.
Anatomy. a hollow space within the body, an organ, a bone, etc.
a hollow space or a pit in a tooth, most commonly produced by caries. A cavity may be artificially made to support dental restorations.
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Origin of cavity

First recorded in 1535–45; from Middle French cavite from Late Latin cavitās “hollowness,” equivalent to Latin cav(us) “hollow” + -itās -ity

synonym study for cavity

1. See hole.


cav·i·tied, adjectivesub·cav·i·ty, noun, plural sub·cav·i·ties.un·cav·i·tied, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is a cavity?

A cavity is a pit or hole in a tooth caused by the decay of the enamel and bone, such as you might get if you don’t brush your teeth regularly.

A cavity is more generally any hollow place or crater, as in When the old building was torn down, all that was left was a huge cavity in the ground.

A cavity is also any other hole, divet, or pit in the body, such as the spinal cavity, which surrounds your spinal cord.

Example: That cavity in your molar is probably from all the soda you drink.

Where does cavity come from?

The first records of the term cavity come from the 1500s. It ultimately comes from the Latin cavus, meaning “hollow.” A cavity is always something that is hollow, with the context it is used in telling you how deep the cavity is and how large it is.

Cavity can be used to describe any empty area, which is useful in construction and production, as many products and materials are made with a cavity in the middle either for soundness purposes or to save money on materials. For example, a cavity wall is a wall of a building that has room in the middle for insulation or ventilation.

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What are some other forms related to cavity?

  • cavitied (adjective)
  • subcavity (noun)
  • uncavitied (adjective)

What are some synonyms for cavity?

What are some words that share a root or word element with cavity

What are some words that often get used in discussing cavity?

How is cavity used in real life?

Cavity is frequently used to refer to decaying in one’s teeth, but it is also often used to discuss much larger hollow spaces.


Try using cavity!

Is cavity used correctly in the following sentence?

That cavity under your arm is called your armpit.

How to use cavity in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cavity

/ (ˈkævɪtɪ) /

noun plural -ties
a hollow space; hole
dentistry a soft decayed area on a toothSee caries
any empty or hollow space within the bodythe oral cavity
electronics See cavity resonator

Word Origin for cavity

C16: from French cavité, from Late Latin cavitās, from Latin cavus hollow
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

Medical definitions for cavity

[ kăvĭ-tē ]

A hollow area within the body, such as a sinus cavity.
A pitted area in a tooth caused by caries.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for cavity

[ kăvĭ-tē ]

A hollow; a hole.
A hollow area within the body.
A pitted area in a tooth caused by caries.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.