Definitions

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

  • n. A large cave.
  • n. A large underground chamber, as in a cave.
  • transitive v. To enclose in or as if in a cavern.
  • transitive v. To hollow out.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large cave.
  • n. An underground chamber.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A large, deep, hollow place in the earth; a large cave.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A large natural cavity under the surface of the earth; a cave; a den.
  • To hollow out; form like a cave by excavating: with out.

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

  • v. hollow out as if making a cavern
  • n. any large dark enclosed space
  • n. a large cave or a large chamber in a cave

Etymologies

Middle English caverne, from Old French, from Latin caverna, from cavus, hollow; see keuə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin caverna, from cavus hollow: compare French caverne. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • We have lights with us and there are lights on the walls, but still some of the cavern is shadowed by darkness.

    La Valencia - one of Guanajuato's richest silver mines

  • The word cavern does not convey any idea of this immense space; words of human tongue are inadequate to describe the discoveries of him who ventures into the deep abysses of earth.

    Journey to the Interior of the Earth

  • "Where is his mountain cavern, and how can I reach it?"

    Folk Tales From Many Lands

  • "Go to my mountain cavern," he commanded, "and bring me a sack of my buried treasure."

    Folk Tales From Many Lands

  • Be careful, now, the floor of this cavern is several feet below the opening.

    The Hidden Hand

  • The dome of one cavern is three hundred and fifty-five feet from floor to roof.

    The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither

  • At length they gained the height, where the roar of the cascade was distinctly heard, at which Ella gave an exclamation of joy; they were so near home, as she called the cavern, for from the description of old Archy, in her childish fancy, she pictured it as a very desirable place.

    Jamie Parker, the Fugitive

  • The entrance to the cavern is by a steep descent: from the irregular manner in which the skulls lie, it appears, that the bodies were thrown down carelessly; and I am confirmed in this opinion, by observing, that though the cavern extends one hundred and thirty feet, there are no bones farther in than a body thrown from the aperture would have fallen; none of the smaller bones remain.

    Letter 196

  • My cavern is the best bat observation area anyone has ever discovered.

    Going Mutant

  • Decorated with piles of rotting bodies and infested with vermin, the cavern was a fitting hovel for the monster within.

    Kresley Cole Immortals After Dark: The Clan MacRieve

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