One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small picturesque cave, especially an artificial one in a park or garden.
cave, cavern, cavity, hollow, recess, alcoveView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘At 11 am there will be a May procession to bless the new grotto to Our Lady in the garden in Spring Gardens.’
- ‘Towards the end of the eighteenth century a picturesque rock landscape with a cascade, grottoes and a hermit's cave was constructed.’
- ‘There Wright filled the grounds with follies, grottoes, and garden buildings in the rustic, Gothic, and Palladian styles.’
- ‘And why should we live in boring, utilitarian spaces when we could live in grottoes and crooked caverns?’
- ‘The garden also features a gazebo, garden seats and grottoes.’
- ‘Usually a little grotto is prepared for the Pope's tomb.’
- ‘You can believe it if you want as you wander through gilt throne rooms and baroque bedrooms, romantic grottoes and misty gardens.’
- ‘In underwater grottoes, hollowed out of the island's jagged rock-face, we discover swarms of good-sized lobster and shrimp.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The railings around the grotto were erected at a later date.’
- ‘Such garden grottos first became popular in Italy before spreading to England in the Tudor period.’
- ‘A grandad from Trowbridge has transformed his garden into a magical grotto for children to enjoy.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘In the Renaissance garden, elemental forces of nature were represented by fountains, statuary, and artificial grottoes.’
- 1.1 An indoor structure resembling a cave.
- ‘"Children look forward to visiting a Grotto for a little present and to meet Father Christmas.’
- ‘This palace had underground rooms or grottoes with wall paintings depicting elaborately swirled and bizarre floral and figural motifs.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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).
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