noun, plural grottoes, grottos.
a cave or cavern.
an artificial cavernlike recess or structure.

1610–20; < Italian grotta < Vulgar Latin *crupta, for Latin crypta subterranean passage, chamber. See crypt

grottoed, adjective
grottolike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
grotto (ˈɡrɒtəʊ)
n , pl -toes, -tos
1.  a small cave, esp one with attractive features
2.  a construction in the form of a cave, esp as in landscaped gardens during the 18th century
[C17: from Old Italian grotta, from Late Latin crypta vault; see crypt]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1617, from It. grotta, ult. from L. crypta "vault, cavern," from Gk. krypte "hidden place" (see crypt). Terminal -o may be from its being spelled that way in many translations of Dante's "Divine Comedy."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


natural or artificial cave used as a decorative feature in 18th-century European gardens. Grottoes derived from natural caves were regarded in antiquity as dwelling places of divinities. Grottoes were often constructed from a fanciful arrangement of rocks, shells, bones, broken glass, and other strangely assorted objects and were commonly associated with water (see nymphaeum).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Some grotto clubs also help manage caves on public land and help maintain the
  cave so it stays in pristine condition.
One of the best ways to enjoy the sport of spelunking requires becoming a
  member of a cave club, also known as a grotto.
Cave clubs, also known as grotto clubs, arrange for field trips so their
  members can visit caves on private property.
Stroll by the fishpond and forest grotto to take in every bit of the calming
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