Definition of cavern in English:



  • 1A large cave or chamber in a cave.

    • ‘Dominated by the spectacular natural arch called the Azure Window, its caves and caverns are among the most scenic dives I have encountered.’
    • ‘Tunnels and caverns deep below the snowy-white building were the safest place for storing valuables.’
    • ‘The far end of the cavern narrowed into another tunnel, and they ran for it.’
    • ‘We are guided on this dive by Morne, a veteran of the lake who seems to have an uncanny knowledge of where all the best caverns and hollows are located.’
    • ‘I feel like I am shouting into a huge empty cavern.’
    • ‘While caves and caverns are characteristic features of karst areas, not all karst areas have caves.’
    • ‘Further down the cavern is the St. Joseph's Cave, where Joseph had a dream in which an angel warned him to flee to Egypt.’
    • ‘Our group spent a whirlwind two days diving the islands and experienced the full gamut of the caverns, caves and reefs that make up the Poor Knights experience.’
    • ‘One or two small tunnels also exist within the walls, leading perhaps to other caverns or cave complexes, or to nowhere at all.’
    • ‘Through the tunnels we went, until we entered a large cavern.’
    • ‘What drew these artists into sunless caverns and tunnels sometimes less than a metre high has been the subject of vigorous argument.’
    • ‘The challenge was to abseil through a vertical fissure, with lights off, into a large underground cavern.’
    • ‘Today, it is a hollow cavern offering a grim sanctuary for families displaced by their country's unending war.’
    • ‘As you move further into the cave there's a smaller cavern off to the right where you can see graffiti that dates back to the 16th century.’
    • ‘The cavern is a natural cave carved into the rock by the sea, and widened into an underground canal by human hands.’
    • ‘"Sounds like water, " Thaniel replied as they entered a large cavern.’
    • ‘We can't wait to go back and see one of the other four caverns, Blue John Cavern but we need to give the legs a rest first!’
    • ‘Yesterday these tunnels and caverns had seemed wonderful, but now the walls felt stifling and oppressive.’
    • ‘I found myself alone, standing at the entrance to a yawning limestone cavern, dazzled by dawning sunlight.’
    • ‘It boasts a cavern and a shaft for certified cave divers, although anyone is permitted to snorkel and free dive the site.’
    large cave, grotto, hollow, cavity, underground chamber, gallery, tunnel, dugout
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A large, dark place or space.
      ‘a dark cavern of a shop’
      • ‘The sky was the roof of a vast cavern from which there was no escape.’
      • ‘In some deep, dark cavern of his mind, Austin knew he had lost something too.’
      • ‘It's like you're finally emerging from the deep, dark cavern of your own mind.’
      • ‘The play takes a look at the human urge to avoid looking into the vast caverns of some of life's more unanswerable questions.’
      • ‘Whatever it was, she soared easily back into the wide chamber, up the steps, and out into the vast cavern where the city should have been and wasn't.’
      • ‘For all I knew, God partook of our sins and laughed in secret from the dark caverns of the rubber plantations, exulting shamelessly in his double-facedness.’
      • ‘The mind of the average politician seems to be a dark cavern of half truths, distortions and power crazy psychosis to the ordinary person in the street.’
      • ‘Green lasers fire wire frame shapes across the dark, immense cavern of the Apollo.’
      • ‘The world is too unpredictable an arena, the mind of the wicked too dark a cavern.’
      • ‘They were cumbersome, propelled by poles, and their interiors were dark caverns.’
      • ‘The clear glazing admits generous daylight into the main gym hall below, transforming the huge space into a welcoming, luminous cavern.’
      • ‘Visit the Cathedrales Englouties, vast concrete caverns created in the construction of the La Defense business district to the west of Paris.’
      • ‘His and Dr. Powers' footfalls on the sidewalk were loud and vaguely hollow in the caverns of the cobbled street.’
      • ‘Lydia could feel herself falling swiftly into the dark blue caverns of Gerhard's eyes as she let herself be lulled by his painfully true words.’
      • ‘With all rear seats in place, the boot is quite small but soon transforms into a vast cavern.’
      • ‘Peering from the dark cavern created by the overhanging hull was a huge lobster, waving deep blue pincers at us as we filed respectfully past.’
      • ‘Healy eventually arrived in a dark cavern, lined with boxes.’
      • ‘The potential of this great sport, you realised, to reach across barriers and to create ties of friendship, even from the darkest caverns of hatred, was unparalleled.’
      • ‘The sky was a dark cavern clustered with a few stars, its surface lit occasionally by a spurt of colour stretching out from a firework just released.’


Late Middle English: from Old French caverne or from Latin caverna, from cavus ‘hollow’. Compare with cave.