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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
  • 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.
  • Ten lazy steps from our room was a little grotto with balmy waters that seeped into our skins and made us sleepy.
  • Some archaeologists believe this recently found grotto once housed the mythical founders of a famous city.
  • Stroll by the fishpond and forest grotto to take in every bit of the calming nature.
  • Here she was shown how to grind spinifex resin, and was taken to a grotto knotted with fossils.
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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