[ grot-oh ]
/ ˈgrɒt oʊ /

noun, plural grot·toes, grot·tos.

a cave or cavern.
an artificial cavernlike recess or structure.

Origin of grotto

1610–20; < Italian grotta < Vulgar Latin *crupta, for Latin crypta subterranean passage, chamber. See crypt
Related formsgrot·toed, adjectivegrot·to·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for grotto

British Dictionary definitions for grotto


/ (ˈɡrɒtəʊ) /

noun plural -toes or -tos

a small cave, esp one with attractive features
a construction in the form of a cave, esp as in landscaped gardens during the 18th century

Word Origin for grotto

C17: from Old Italian grotta, from Late Latin crypta vault; see crypt
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 grotto



1610s, from Italian grotta, ultimately from Latin crypta "vault, cavern," from Greek krypte "hidden place" (see crypt). Terminal -o may be from its being spelled that way in many translations of Dante's "Divine Comedy."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper