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From Italian grotta, from Vulgar Latin grupta, from Classical Latin crypta. Doublet of crypt.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɡɹɒt.əʊ/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɡɹɑ.toʊ/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒtəʊ


English Wikipedia has an article on:

grotto (plural grottos or grottoes)

  1. A small cave.
  2. An artificial cavern-like retreat.
    • 1837, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], “Pope’s Villa”, in Ethel Churchill: Or, The Two Brides. [], volume I, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 192:
      ...But, while we are waiting for the temple, can you not show us the altar?—we want to see your grotto."
      Pope desired nothing better than to show his new toy, and led the way to the pretty and fanciful cave, which was but just finished.
  3. A Marian shrine, usually built in a cavern-like structure.
  4. A local organization of cavers that typically organizes trips to caves and provides information and training for caving; a caving club.
    • 1987, National Speleological Society, NSS News, volumes 45-46, page 331:
      An earlier attempt to organize a grotto in the Indiana, PA, area in the mid-1970s failed to succeed, but from it developed the informal Chestnut Ridge Explorers Association.
    • 2004, Anthony D. Barnosky, Biodiversity Response to Climate Change in the Middle Pleistocene: The Porcupine Cave Fauna from Colorado:
      By the mid-1940s members of local grottos (regional clubs of cavers within the National Speleological Society) were exploring Porcupine Cave (Bloch, 1946).
    • 2008, Neil Miller, Kartchner Caverns: How Two Cavers Discovered and Saved One of the Wonders of the Natural World:
      The answer to the question, “Are there any caves in Arizona?” was always the laconic “None to speak of,” with emphasis on the “to speak of.” This secrecy dovetailed with the cave conservation ethic promoted by the local caving grotto.
  5. (Satanism) A secretive name for a local group of underground Satanists.

Derived terms[edit]