Main definitions of cave in English

: cave1cave2

cave1

noun

  • A natural underground chamber in a hillside or cliff.

    ‘the narrow gorge contains a series of prehistoric caves’
    • ‘The cave has two main chambers, with a series of galleries and chambers leading off them.’
    • ‘Bats spend the summer living in trees and buildings, and retreat to caves and potholes in winter, to hibernate.’
    • ‘Karim, dive instructor and owner of Deep South Diving, leads me through a series of caves at the back of the reef.’
    • ‘Local monks have also taken advantages of the natural caves and have made them part of their temples.’
    • ‘If we all lived underground in caves there would be fewer skin cancers, and if we all moved to Brisbane there would be more.’
    • ‘The reef face is pockmarked by some fairly deep caves where only qualified cave divers should venture.’
    • ‘Many faults have karst features developed along them, with strings of caves visible along the faults.’
    • ‘The numerous caves and grottoes were long occupied by Palaeolithic peoples.’
    • ‘Plato was not describing a real place any more than his allegory of the cave describes a real cave.’
    • ‘The coastline is varied, dramatic and rugged, cut with caves, gullies, canyons and sheer cliffs.’
    • ‘It opens with an old woman relating a mythical tale of people trapped in an underground cave.’
    • ‘To the north lies Durness with the spectacular Smoo Cave, a limestone cave with a hole in the roof.’
    • ‘Other parts of Rainbow River are better known for caves and grottos.’
    • ‘The cavern is a natural cave carved into the rock by the sea, and widened into an underground canal by human hands.’
    • ‘The Himalayan cave houses an icy stalagmite worshipped as an incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva.’
    • ‘The rock's many natural caves have been added to over the years by a series of remarkable tunnels.’
    • ‘Entry to the caves was through a passage which led to a large chamber filled with water.’
    • ‘Steven Birch and a small team of archaeologists are excavating a remarkable cave on the Isle of Skye.’
    • ‘The growth rate of stalactites and stalagmites in many caves today is of course quite slow.’
    • ‘This produces stalactites and related deposits in underground caves.’
    cavern, grotto, hollow, cavity, pothole, underground chamber, gallery, tunnel, dugout
    View synonyms

verb

[no object]
  • 1Explore caves as a sport.

    ‘they say they cave for the adventure, challenge, and physical exercise’
    • ‘Back when I was living out of a backpack I went caving in Budapest.’
    • ‘Most of the Polish cavers we caved with were hard.’
    • ‘I found the way out quite a struggle; having not caved for 2 months I was a little out of practice.’
    • ‘Howard, Martin, Sweeny and Snablet caved back through Hang Ho into Pitch Cave to follow a lead there.’
  • 2US Capitulate or submit under pressure; cave in.

    ‘he caved because his position had become untenable’
    ‘she finally caved in the face of his persistence’
    • ‘The dean promptly caved and told us that our party was now being called the ‘Annual’ party’
    • ‘Besides when it gets to Tuesday, I think someone will cave and pay our price.’
    • ‘He will make his decision for football reasons - he won't cave.’
    • ‘Actually, five minutes into ‘Die Hard’ he caved and let me watch my movie.’
    • ‘In other news: tonight I caved and bought the expensive cat litter.’
    • ‘Finally, after a shopping expedition on Saturday, I caved.’
    • ‘The studios and independents resisted at first on principle, then caved.’
    • ‘Eventually I told him that I refused to pay full price and he caved.’
    • ‘Once again, we'd both wanted the same thing - and, as before, I caved and picked something else.’
    • ‘He caved, I assume to keep his job.’
    collapse, fall in, give, give way, crumble, crumple, disintegrate, subside, fall down, sag, slump
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Phrasal Verbs

  • cave in

    • 1(of a roof or similar structure) subside or collapse.

      ‘the tunnel walls caved in’
      ‘Len's club would have caved his skull in’
      • ‘The roof caved in during the fire at the Chalkwell Park Rooms, a popular function suite on the edge of Chalkwell Park, Westcliff.’
      • ‘The roof caved in and the windscreen was smashed.’
      • ‘Then the roof started caving in at that end of the station, everything seemed to happen in slow motion.’
      • ‘In one tiny schoolhouse the roof caved in after a heavy rain and prickly pear quickly began to take root inside.’
      • ‘He was apparently writing a letter to his family and there is speculation that he may have saved the life of the boy next to him by shielding him when the roof caved in on them.’
      • ‘A fire broke out after the tunnel caved in on Sunday, and a number of survivors fled to safety on foot.’
      • ‘The roof had caved in and trees were growing through the gaping hole.’
      • ‘The road has caved into the drains at several points.’
      • ‘The couple's hardwood floor was destroyed but that was not the end of their troubles, as the roof then began to cave in.’
      • ‘As many as 30 miners were trapped underground on Tuesday after a tunnel caved in at the mine.’
      • ‘Her bathroom ceiling caved in last week after she had waited more than a month for repairs.’
      • ‘Now a corner, now a brick, the structure is caving in upon itself.’
      • ‘A five-storey building under construction caved in on Saturday at the seaside town of Canacona, trapping workers on the site.’
      • ‘Doors were rotting, roofs of buildings were caving in, streets were littered with rusting machine-like objects.’
      • ‘Mr Grove's housemate said he heard glass smashing and saw flames leaping up the stairs of the house before the ceiling caved in.’
      • ‘Police wearing breathing masks manned posts to divert traffic away from the industrial estate where workers were evacuated from the blazing warehouse just as the roof was caving in.’
      • ‘The roof is caving in, and bats have taken over the empty structure.’
      • ‘More than 500 people were believed to be in the 110,000 sq ft exhibition hall when the roof caved in.’
      • ‘She felt as if at any moment the roof would cave in on her and bury her alive.’
      • ‘We don't like to think about it, but what if you lose your job or the roof of your house caves in?’
      collapse, fall in, give, give way, crumble, crumple, disintegrate, subside, fall down, sag, slump
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Capitulate or submit under pressure.
        ‘the manager caved in to his demands’
        • ‘Critics have also slammed the government for caving in to the demands of the mining industry and leaving loopholes "large enough for mining trucks to drive through".’
        • ‘A number of the country's biggest publishers say the strategy amounts to blackmail and are refusing to cave in.’
        • ‘Already the Danish government, which had announced plans to scale down ferry operations when the bridge opened, has caved in to public pressure to maintain the service.’
        • ‘So instead, the government caved in to their pressure.’
        • ‘She said the bus driver should never have let them get on if there was not enough room, and had caved in to pressure from other passengers.’
        • ‘Ministers have caved in to pressure from the farming industry over one of the most controversial proposals to prevent a repeat of last year's epidemic.’
        • ‘After rolling my eyes many many times this week, I eventually caved in.’
        • ‘Other times he caved in to pressure, either from industry or pro-censorship forces.’
        • ‘My parents finally caved in and got me a landline phone in my room for my 14th birthday.’
        • ‘Numerous stations immediately caved in to the pressure.’
        • ‘The top players will continue to demand more money and eventually the league will cave in to the pressure from the big clubs.’
        • ‘She won't cave in to his demands that she admit the marriage was fraudulent.’
        yield, surrender, submit, succumb, back down, make concessions, capitulate, give in, give up, raise the white flag, show the white flag
        View synonyms
  • cave something in

    • Cause to collapse.

      ‘storms caved the roof in’
      ‘the car smashed into the front door and almost caved in the porch’
      • ‘Rodger also struck two bicyclists with his car, the second of whom caved in the car's windshield.’
      • ‘Half of the three-story building was heavily damaged by the fire, which caved in the roof.’
      • ‘One man had his skull caved in.’
      • ‘Problems apparently arose in February, when a heavy snowfall caved in the roof.’
      • ‘Your homeowner's policy will cover you if a tree blows down and caves the roof in.’
      • ‘After the quake shook the house, knocking it off its foundation and caving in the porch they loved, they said they don't know if they can afford to stay.’
      • ‘It took the fire service 30 minutes to contain and extinguish the fire, which had caved the roof in and destroyed a car.’
      • ‘A crane had run into the back of her car, crushing the roof and boot and caving in the rear windscreen.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French, from Latin cava, from cavus ‘hollow’ (compare with cavern). The usage cave in may be from the synonymous dialect expression calve in, influenced by obsolete cave ‘excavate, hollow out’.

Pronunciation

cave

/keɪv/

Main definitions of cave in English

: cave1cave2

cave2

exclamation

British
dated, informal
  • (among children) look out!

Phrases

  • keep cave

    • dated, informal Act as lookout.

      • ‘While Lloyd George was ‘robbing the hen roosts’, Churchill kept cave for him.’
      • ‘I was the one who had the brains so I kept cave and I used to charge 'em all two apples so I never went to get the apples myself.’
      • ‘We were in a ground floor ward, and at visiting time I kept cave outside the toilet whilst Jo went into the loo, stood on the toilet seat and opened the window.’

Origin

Latin, imperative of cavere ‘beware’.

Pronunciation

cave

/ˈkeɪvi/