cavernous

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Late Middle English cavernous, cavernose, borrowing from Old French caverneux or Latin cavernōsus (full of hollows or cavities), from caverna (a hollow, cavity, cave) +‎ -ōsus (-ous, -ose, adjectival suffix); equivalent to cavern +‎ -ous.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

cavernous (comparative more cavernous, superlative most cavernous)

  1. Resembling a cavern in size, shape, or atmosphere.
    Synonym: cavelike
    • 2019 November 20, Paul Stephen, “Lakes and lines offer scenery to savour”, in Rail, page 54:
      The last stop on the West Coast Main Line before you cross the border into Scotland, the strategically placed Carlisle Citadel is a station steeped in history. Opened on September 1 1847, the cavernous station was once home to seven railway companies in the pre-Grouping years.
    1. Giving the impression of vast, dark depths.
      cavernous eyes
      • 2021 September 22, Caroline Siede, “Dear Evan Hansen is a misfire on just about every level”, in AV Club[1]:
        While the filmmakers behind Dear Evan Hansen have maintained that their biggest motivation for adapting the popular Broadway musical was to immortalize Platt’s Tony-winning titular performance, what they’ve actually done by having the 27-year-old play a high school senior is highlight the stage show’s cavernous weaknesses while failing to transport just about any of its strengths to the new medium.
  2. Having many caverns.
    1. (anatomy, zootomy) Composed largely of vascular sinuses and capable of dilating with blood to bring about the erection of a body part.
    2. (dentistry) Having cavities.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French caverneux or Latin cavernōsus (full of hollows or cavities); equivalent to caverne +‎ -ous.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈkavɛrnus/, /ˌkavɛrˈnɔːs(ə)/

Adjective[edit]

cavernous (Late Middle English, literary)

  1. Having a cavern or caverns; hollow.
  2. Having a cavity or hole.

Descendants[edit]

  • English: cavernous

References[edit]