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[grot-oh] /ˈgrɒt oʊ/
noun, plural grottoes, grottos.
a cave or cavern.
an artificial cavernlike recess or structure.
Origin of grotto
1610-20; < Italian grotta < Vulgar Latin *crupta, for Latin crypta subterranean passage, chamber. See crypt
Related forms
grottoed, adjective
grottolike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for grotto
Historical Examples
  • And without dismounting from their horses, they formed a circle round the grotto.

    The Man in the Iron Mask Alexandre Dumas, Pere
  • Speaking thus, the goddess went into the grotto and Odysseus followed her.

  • Eight years elapsed before the grotto was visited by M. Louis Lartet, the great French archologist.

    Ancient Man in Britain Donald A. (Donald Alexander) Mackenzie
  • Somebody must have been down to that grotto, and dropped it as he came away.

    The Crystal Hunters George Manville Fenn
  • Apollo is in his grotto, served by seven graceful nymphs: while close by the steeds of the sun-god are being watered by tritons.

  • At length he decided on having a fountain, a grotto, and an arbor.

    The Conspirators Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
  • As he thought this, he discovered, in a mountain-wall near the roadside, the vaulted entrance to a grotto.

    Christ Legends Selma Lagerlf
  • Yes; but the grotto of Locmaria—is it necessary all the world should know it?

    The Man in the Iron Mask Alexandre Dumas, Pere
  • The soil of the grotto had apparently risen at a subsequent period.

  • We'd end up drowned in some grotto in the heart of the planet, says Kroger.

    The Dope on Mars John Michael Sharkey
British Dictionary definitions for grotto


noun (pl) -toes, -tos
a small cave, esp one with attractive features
a construction in the form of a cave, esp as in landscaped gardens during the 18th century
Word Origin
C17: from Old Italian grotta, from Late Latin crypta vault; see crypt
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 grotto

1610s, from Italian grotta, ultimately from Latin crypta "vault, cavern," from Greek 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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