Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small cave or cavern.
  • n. An artificial structure or excavation made to resemble a cave or cavern.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small cave.
  • n. An artificial cavern-like retreat.
  • n. A Marian shrine, usually built in a cavern-like structure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A natural covered opening in the earth; a cave; also, an artificial recess, cave, or cavernlike apartment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A subterranean cavity; a natural cavern, or an ornamented excavation or construction more or less remotely resembling a natural cave, made for shade or recreation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small cave (usually with attractive features)

Etymologies

Alteration of Italian grotta, from Vulgar Latin *grupta, from Latin crypta, vault; see crypt.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian grotta, from Vulgar Latin grupta, from Classical Latin crypta; see crypt. (Wiktionary)

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