See also: Cave, cavé, and cåve

English

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Etymology 1

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From Middle English cave, borrowed from Old French cave, from Latin cava (cavity), from cavus (hollow). Cognate with Tocharian B kor (throat), Albanian cup (odd, uneven), Ancient Greek κύαρ (kúar, eye of needle, earhole), Old Armenian սոր (sor, hole), Sanskrit शून्य (śūnya, empty, barren, zero). Displaced native Old English sċræf. More at cavum, cavus and cage.

Pronunciation

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  • enPR: kāv, IPA(key): /keɪv/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪv

Noun

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cave (plural caves)

 
A cliffside cave.
  1. A large, naturally-occurring cavity formed underground or in the face of a cliff or a hillside.
    We found a cave on the mountainside where we could take shelter.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XVI, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      The preposterous altruism too! [] Resist not evil. It is an insane immolation of self—as bad intrinsically as fakirs stabbing themselves or anchorites warping their spines in caves scarcely large enough for a fair-sized dog.
  2. A hole, depression, or gap in earth or rock, whether natural or man-made.
    • 1918, Edward Alfred Steiner, Uncle Joe's Lincoln[1], page 52:
      Every boy at one time or another has dug a cave; I suppose because ages and ages ago his ancestors had to live in caves, []
  3. A storage cellar, especially for wine or cheese.
    This wine has been aged in our cave for thirty years.
  4. A place of retreat, such as a man cave.
    My room was a cozy cave where I could escape from my family.
  5. (caving) A naturally-occurring cavity in bedrock which is large enough to be entered by an adult.
    It was not strictly a cave, but a narrow fissure in the rock.
  6. (nuclear physics) A shielded area where nuclear experiments can be carried out.
    • 1986, National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, Radiation Alarms and Access Control Systems[2], →ISBN, page 45:
      These potential radiation fields or radioactive material levels may be the result of normal operations (ie, radiation in a target cave) []
  7. (drilling, uncountable) Debris, particularly broken rock, which falls into a drill hole and interferes with drilling.
    • 1951, James Deans Cumming, Diamond Drill Handbook[3], page 134:
      [] the casing can then be placed in the hole without encountering any cave and core drilling in rock can begin.
  8. (mining) A collapse or cave-in.
    • 1885, Angelo Heilprin, Town Geology: The Lesson of the Philadelphia Rocks[4], page 79:
      The "breasts" of marble which unite the opposite lateral walls have been left standing in order to prevent a possible cave of the wall on either side.
  9. (figuratively, also slang) The vagina.
    • 1976, Chester Himes, My Life of Absurdity[5], page 59:
      Then without a word she lay on her back in the bed, her dark blond pubic hair rising about her dark wet cave like dried brush about a hidden spring.
  10. (slang, politics, often "Cave") A group that breaks from a larger political party or faction on a particular issue.
    • 1964, Leon D. Epstein, British Politics in the Suez Crisis[6], page 125:
      Without joining the cave, Hyde had abstained both in December 1956 and May 1957.
  11. (obsolete) Any hollow place, or part; a cavity.
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], →OCLC:
      the cave of the ear
  12. (programming) A code cave.
    • 2016, Nick Cano, Game Hacking: Developing Autonomous Bots for Online Games:
      Once a code cave is created, you can execute it using either thread injection or thread hijacking. [] Additionally, you'd need to make sure that the cave properly cleans the stack.
Synonyms
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Derived terms
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Translations
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Verb

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cave (third-person singular simple present caves, present participle caving, simple past and past participle caved)

 
Person caving.
  1. (figurative) To surrender.
    He caved under pressure.
    • 2023 September 29, Sam Jones, “Alberto Núñez Feijóo fails to win Spanish MPs’ backing to become PM”, in The Guardian[7], →ISSN:
      On Friday morning, Salvador Illa, the former health minister of Spain who now leads the Catalan branch of the PSOE, said the socialists would be happy to fight another general election rather than cave to Junts and the ERC’s demands.
  2. To collapse.
    First the braces buckled, then the roof began to cave, then we ran.
  3. To hollow out or undermine.
    The levee has been severely caved by the river current.
  4. To engage in the recreational exploration of caves.
    Synonym: spelunk
    • 2007 September 29, Kate Humble, “What lies beneath”, in The Guardian[8]:
      Pam has been caving for 25 years. She and her husband Tim are among the top cavers in the country. They are passionate about the world hidden beneath our feet and they were to be my instructors and guides on my first ever foray below ground that didn't involve getting on the tube.
  5. (mining) In room-and-pillar mining, to extract a deposit of rock by breaking down a pillar which had been holding it in place.
    The deposit is caved by knocking out the posts.
  6. (mining, obsolete) To work over tailings to dress small pieces of marketable ore.
    • 1999, Andy Wood, The Politics of Social Conflict: The Peak Country, 1520-1770[9], →ISBN, page 319:
      As an indication of the miners' desperation in these years, the free miners of Wensley lowered themselves to caving for scraps of ore.
  7. (obsolete) To dwell in a cave.
    • a. 1611, William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, act 4, scene 2:
      although perhaps / It may be heard at court that such as we / Cave here, hunt here, are outlaws, and in time / May make some stronger head
Derived terms
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Translations
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Etymology 2

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Borrowed from Latin cavē, second-person singular present active imperative of caveō (to beware). Used at Eton College, Berkshire.

Pronunciation

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Interjection

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cave

  1. (British, school slang) look out!; beware!
Synonyms
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Derived terms
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Translations
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Anagrams

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Etruscan

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Romanization

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cave

  1. Romanization of 𐌂𐌀𐌅𐌄

French

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Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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Borrowed from Latin cavus (concave; cavity).

Adjective

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cave (plural caves)

  1. pitted
  2. concave
  3. cavernous

Etymology 2

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Borrowed from Late Latin cava, substantivized form of Latin cava, feminine of the adjective cavus.

Noun

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cave f (plural caves)

  1. a cellar or basement
  2. (specifically) a wine cellar; or, a piece of furniture that serves the purpose of a wine cellar
  3. (by extension) a wine selection
  4. caves: An estate where wine grapes are grown or (especially) where wine is produced
  5. cave à liqueurs: A chest for the storage of liquors
Derived terms
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Descendants
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  • Portuguese: cave

Etymology 3

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Probably from cavé, from the past participle of caver, a term used in games.

Noun

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cave m (plural caves)

  1. (slang) an imbecile, a stupid person

Further reading

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Anagrams

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Galician

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Verb

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cave

  1. inflection of cavar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative

Italian

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Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): /ˈka.ve/
  • Rhymes: -ave
  • Hyphenation: cà‧ve

Adjective

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cave

  1. feminine plural of cavo

Noun

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cave f

  1. plural of cava

Anagrams

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Latin

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Verb

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cavē

  1. second-person singular present imperative of caveō

Middle English

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Etymology 1

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Borrowed from Old French cave, from Latin cava.

Alternative forms

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Pronunciation

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Noun

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cave (plural caves)

  1. A cave or cavern.
  2. (by extension) An underground chamber.
  3. A cavity; a hollow.
Descendants
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References
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Etymology 2

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Verb

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cave

  1. Alternative form of caven

Norman

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Etymology

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(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Noun

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cave f (plural caves)

  1. (Jersey) cave, cellar

Portuguese

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Pronunciation

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  • Rhymes: (Brazil) -avi, (Portugal) -avɨ
  • Hyphenation: ca‧ve

Etymology 1

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Borrowed from French cave.[1][2]

Noun

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cave f (plural caves)

  1. cellar

Etymology 2

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See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Verb

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cave

  1. inflection of cavar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative

References

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Spanish

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Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): /ˈkabe/ [ˈka.β̞e]
  • Rhymes: -abe
  • Syllabification: ca‧ve

Etymology 1

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Deverbal from cavar.

Noun

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cave m (plural caves)

  1. (Ecuador) potato harvesting

Etymology 2

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Verb

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cave

  1. inflection of cavar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative

Further reading

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