There are 2 main definitions of cave in English:

cave1

Line breaks: cave
Pronunciation: /keɪv
 
/

noun

A natural underground chamber in a hillside or cliff: the narrow gorge contains a series of prehistoric caves
More example sentences
  • This produces stalactites and related deposits in underground caves.
  • The cavern is a natural cave carved into the rock by the sea, and widened into an underground canal by human hands.
  • The cave has two main chambers, with a series of galleries and chambers leading off them.
Synonyms
cavern, grotto, hollow, cavity, pothole, underground chamber, gallery, tunnel, dugout

verb

[no object] Back to top  
1British Explore caves as a sport: they say they cave for the adventure, challenge, and physical exercise
More example sentences
  • Most of the Polish cavers we caved with were hard.
  • Howard, Martin, Sweeny and Snablet caved back through Hang Ho into Pitch Cave to follow a lead there.
  • I found the way out quite a struggle; having not caved for 2 months I was a little out of practice.
2US short for cave in below.
More example sentences
  • Flames fell as the ceiling caved in and by sheer luck she managed to maneuver her way around them.
  • Inside the building, ceilings caved in, light fixtures and HVAC supply vents fell, drywall collapsed and some door frames were twisted.
  • Max says if we have another earthquake, anyone standing in the room directly downstairs from my office will buried in my books as the ceiling caves in.
Synonyms
collapse, fall in, give, give way, crumble, crumple, disintegrate, subside, fall down, sag, slump

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'.

Phrasal verbs

cave in (or cave something in)

(With reference to a roof or similar structure) subside or collapse, or cause something to do this: the tunnel walls caved in storms caved the roof in Len’s club would have caved his skull in
More example sentences
  • The roof is caving in, and bats have taken over the empty structure.
  • Their walls were falling down and the roofs were caving in.
  • Most of the children were held in a gymnasium, and there had been explosive devices and other things, and the roof of the gymnasium caved in after a bomb apparently went off.
Yield or submit under pressure: the manager caved in to his demands
More example sentences
  • So instead, the government caved in to their pressure.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Synonyms
yield, surrender, submit, succumb, back down, make concessions, capitulate, give up/in, raise/show the white flag;
acquiesce, agree, concur, approve, assent

Derivatives

cave-like

adjective
More example sentences
  • Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away from Capitol Hill, deep within the cave-like laboratories of the infamous research centre that gave birth to the A-bomb, scientists have begun work on a new, highly classified project.
  • Eventually she took my hand and drew me through a small door into a cave-like room where I was introduced to her father.
  • Fluorescent lighting illuminates the white underside of the outer shell generating a soft iridescence that evokes the mystery of a subterranean grotto, with the cave-like auditorium at its heart.

caver

noun
More example sentences
  • What the group of relatively inexperienced cavers didn't know was that the heavy rain of the previous few days was seeping through the porous limestone rock and would quickly fill the cavern with freezing cold, rushing water.
  • In high water conditions care is needed, but a trip through Manchester Hole, considered a classic river cave, can normally be accomplished by experienced cavers in about 30 minutes.
  • The injured man was with a group of cavers who were going through a system using ropes.

Definition of cave in:

There are 2 main definitions of cave in English:

cave2

Line breaks: cave
Pronunciation: /ˈkeɪvi
 
/

exclamation

British informal , dated

Origin

Latin, imperative of cavere 'beware'.

Phrases

keep cave

Act as lookout.
More example sentences
  • While Lloyd George was ‘robbing the hen roosts’, Churchill kept cave for him.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Definition of cave in: