[ spi-luhngk ]
/ spɪˈlʌŋk /
verb (used without object)
to explore caves, especially as a hobby.
Why Tergiversate Is Our 2011 Word Of The YearThere are essentially two ways to pick a “word of the year.” One common approach is to select from words whose common usage reflects some quality of the year past. Expect to see occupy, winning, etc., on many selections this December. Another way involves actually using the dictionary. Is there a word that captures the character of 2011, regardless of its popularity or ubiquity? In …
- spelling reform,
- spellman, francis joseph,
- spemann, hans,
Origin of spelunk
back formation from spelunker, spelunking
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
"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