Definition of grotto in English:



  • 1A small picturesque cave, especially an artificial one in a park or garden.

    • ‘Usually a little grotto is prepared for the Pope's tomb.’
    • ‘A gazebo, garden seats, the grottoes and the waterside plantings and eventually the bedding schemes will convey the exuberance of the Victorian garden - to be again enjoyed in Tramore.’
    • ‘And why should we live in boring, utilitarian spaces when we could live in grottoes and crooked caverns?’
    • ‘There Wright filled the grounds with follies, grottoes, and garden buildings in the rustic, Gothic, and Palladian styles.’
    • ‘A grandad from Trowbridge has transformed his garden into a magical grotto for children to enjoy.’
    • ‘The garden also features a gazebo, garden seats and grottoes.’
    • ‘Where they did survive, many great eighteenth-century grottoes gradually slid into ruin, like the parks in which they stood or the houses they once served.’
    • ‘You can believe it if you want as you wander through gilt throne rooms and baroque bedrooms, romantic grottoes and misty gardens.’
    • ‘The present grotto commemorating Our Lady's apparitions at Lourdes will be moved to another location in the garden.’
    • ‘Here are about 1200 caves, some of them with lakes and rivers; subterranean grottos are suitable for diving.’
    • ‘In gardening, designers turned their backs on Italianate fountains and grottoes and on the stiff French parterres, long vistas and avenues beloved of Stuart kings.’
    • ‘Towards the end of the eighteenth century a picturesque rock landscape with a cascade, grottoes and a hermit's cave was constructed.’
    • ‘At 11 am there will be a May procession to bless the new grotto to Our Lady in the garden in Spring Gardens.’
    • ‘In addition to the gardens, there were two grottos with hidden, artificial lighting, that sheltered the new friendship, if not love, flourishing between David and Carrie.’
    • ‘In underwater grottoes, hollowed out of the island's jagged rock-face, we discover swarms of good-sized lobster and shrimp.’
    • ‘The railings around the grotto were erected at a later date.’
    • ‘If scuba diving appeals, you'll find the Adriatic sea floor is littered with wrecks where exotic fish swim in coral reefs and colourful underwater gardens and grottoes.’
    • ‘Residents in the area have been pushing for the building of a grotto in the green area of the park and the building of a wall around the park over the last 12 months.’
    • ‘Such garden grottos first became popular in Italy before spreading to England in the Tudor period.’
    • ‘In the Renaissance garden, elemental forces of nature were represented by fountains, statuary, and artificial grottoes.’
    cave, cavern, cavity, hollow, recess, alcove
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An indoor structure resembling a cave.
      ‘visits to Father Christmas's grotto’
      • ‘"Children look forward to visiting a Grotto for a little present and to meet Father Christmas.’
      • ‘Rolling over to find sweet relief from his side, he stared blankly at the ceiling, a grubby grotto of sepia walls.’
      • ‘More than 30,000 children and adults had visited his grotto the year before.’
      • ‘This palace had underground rooms or grottoes with wall paintings depicting elaborately swirled and bizarre floral and figural motifs.’
      • ‘During the week, youngsters tried their hand at pumpkin carving and visited a haunted house grotto.’


Early 17th century: from Italian grotta, via Latin from Greek kruptē (see crypt).