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See more synonyms for grotto on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural grot·toes, grot·tos.
  1. a cave or cavern.
  2. an artificial cavernlike recess or structure.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

cavern, cavity, chamber, den, hollow, antre, subterrane

Examples from the Web for grotto

Historical Examples

  • Napoleon had been at his favorite resort,—the grotto that overlooked the sea.

    The Boy Life of Napoleon

    Eugenie Foa

  • And what great stories have you been telling yourself today in your grotto?

  • He went to his grotto, and carefully thought out a plan of campaign.

  • "There is no hope of getting to the Grotto yet awhile," he said.

  • He will join you by-and-by after he has taken me to the Grotto.

British Dictionary definitions for grotto


noun plural -toes or -tos
  1. a small cave, esp one with attractive features
  2. a construction in the form of a cave, esp as in landscaped gardens during the 18th century
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Word Origin

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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper