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[kav-i-tee] /ˈkæv ɪ ti/
noun, plural cavities.
any hollow place; hollow.
Anatomy. a hollow space within the body, an organ, a bone, etc.
a hollow space or a pit in a tooth, most commonly produced by caries. A cavity may be artificially made to support dental restorations.
1535-45; < Middle French cavite < Late Latin cavitās hollowness, equivalent to Latin cav(us) hollow + -itās -ity
Related forms
cavitied, adjective
subcavity, noun, plural subcavities.
uncavitied, adjective
1. See hole. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cavities
  • Their abandoned nest cavities provide homes for other birds, small mammals, and other animals.
  • The natron, which was also put in packets and stuffed into the body cavities, dehydrated the body.
  • Hair follicles-skin cavities where individual hairs sit-are tiny organs that are able to regenerate themselves.
  • It aggressively defends nest cavities, possibly to the detriment of native species.
  • cavities in the roof of the fish's mouth sheath these natural daggers when they're not embedded in prey.
  • Located in our cheekbones, the maxillary are the largest of four pairs of sinus cavities in the human head.
  • The group has a regional map showing ground hornbill nesting sites, which are usually in cavities in big trees.
  • We experience discomfort and pain only when they are inadvertently exposed, through cavities, for example.
  • Some bees build nests in tree hollows or other preexisting cavities.
  • The resulting cavities will be filled with silicone.
British Dictionary definitions for cavities


noun (pl) -ties
a hollow space; hole
(dentistry) a soft decayed area on a tooth See caries
any empty or hollow space within the body: the oral cavity
(electronics) See cavity resonator
Word Origin
C16: from French cavité, from Late Latin cavitās, from Latin cavus hollow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cavities



1540s, from Middle French cavité (13c.), from Late Latin cavitatem (nominative cavitas) "hollowness," from Latin cavus "hollow" (see cave (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cavities in Medicine

cavity cav·i·ty (kāv'ĭ-tē)

  1. A hollow area within the body, such as a sinus cavity.

  2. A pitted area in a tooth caused by caries.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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cavities in Science
  1. A hollow; a hole.

  2. A hollow area within the body.

  3. A pitted area in a tooth caused by caries.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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