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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.
Origin of cavity
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 cavity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Place the mineral in the cavity with a little of carbonate of soda, and blow upon it with the inner or oxidizing flame.

    The A B C of Mining Charles A. Bramble
  • And he bent forward and compelled her also to stoop over the cavity.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • The torch, which had been replaced in its cavity in the pavement, had just been extinguished.

    Les Misrables Victor Hugo
  • The subgleba broad, occupying about one-third of the cavity.

  • A push upon a great boulder hard by—it fell upon the cavity with a crash, and all hope of egress was barred.

  • All the interior of the net he made of fire, but the lesser weels and their cavity, of air.

    Timaeus Plato
  • Just think for a moment what it would mean to find a live toad within a cavity in a solid rock.

  • Epithelium: the layer of cells which covers a surface or lines a cavity.

British Dictionary definitions for cavity


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 cavity

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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cavity 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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cavity 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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