spelunk

[spi-luhngk]

Origin of spelunk

back formation from spelunker, spelunking
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for spelunk
n.

"cave, cavern," c.1300, from Old French spelonque or directly from Latin spelunca "a cave, cavern, grotto," from Greek spelynx (genitive spelyngos). An adjective, speluncar "of a cave" is recorded from 1855.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper