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an Aladdin's cave

A place full of treasures. (In The Arabian Nights, Aladdin finds a magic lamp in a cave.) I know you think your garage is full of junk, but to an antiques collector like me, it's an Aladdin's cave!
See also: cave

man cave

A room or area of a house designated for a man to retreat from the rest of his family and relax or engage in hobbies. My husband is watching the football game in his man cave right now.
See also: cave, man

cave in

1. verb To collapse into a hollow area below, as of a physical structure or formation. We were able to get the kids out of the house before the roof caved in.
2. verb To collapse, faint, or die, as from over-exertion. I hardly remember the end of the marathon because I caved in as soon as I crossed the finish line.
3. verb To submit, concede, or yield (to someone or something); to surrender or acknowledge defeat. Under the threat of a strike, the management caved in and agreed to reinstate annual pay increases for all employees.
4. noun A collapse into a hollow area below, as of a physical structure or formation. When used as a noun, the phrase is usually hyphenated. The fear of every miner is a cave-in.
See also: cave

the roof caves in

The situation collapses; everything goes wrong. Typically used in the past tense. I was living paycheck to paycheck and getting by OK, but then the roof caved in. I lost my job, and then my car and my house.
See also: cave, roof

cave in

[for a roof or ceiling] to collapse. The roof of the mine caved in when no one was there. The tunnel caved in on the train.
See also: cave

cave in (to someone or something)

Fig. to give in to someone or something. Finally, the manager caved in to the customer's demands. I refuse to cave in under pressure from my opponent.
See also: cave

cave in

1. Fall in, collapse, as in The earthquake made the walls cave in. [Early 1700s]
2. Give in, admit defeat, as in The prosecutor's questions soon made the witness cave in. [Early 1800s]
3. Collapse, faint, or die from exhaustion, as in After a twenty-mile hike I caved in. [Mid-1800s]
See also: cave

an Aladdin's cave

a place full of valuable objects.
See also: cave

keep cave

act as lookout. school slang
Cave is a Latin word meaning ‘beware!’ Pronounced as one or two syllables, cave was the traditional warning uttered by a schoolchild to let others know that a teacher was approaching.
See also: cave, keep

an Aladdin’s ˈcave

a place full of valuable or interesting objects: He kept for his private pleasure an Aladdin’s cave of stolen masterpieces.This expression comes from a story in The Arabian Nights. Aladdin was trapped in a cave full of gold and jewels by a magician.
See also: cave

cave in

To give way; collapse: The sides of the snow fort caved in. The mine shaft caved in on a group of miners, but fortunately they were rescued.
See also: cave
References in classic literature ?
When we got to the land, which was not far, there, on the face of a cliff near the sea, we saw a great cave overhung with laurels.
If every living thing were swept from the country the future explorer would find upon the walls of these caves ample evidence of the strange fauna--the dinosaurs, iguanodons, and fish lizards--which had lived so recently upon earth.
If we could but reach it we might still hope to make the shelter of the cliff caves.
It was not until we had passed through seven caves of different sizes and varying but little in the power and quality of their stenches that we met with any physical opposition.
With some misgivings I shortly afterward cast my eyes upward toward the precarious ledge which ran before my cave, for it seemed to me quite beyond all reason to expect a dainty modern belle to essay the perils of that frightful climb.
But some time after she reached our cave she heard voices from the far recesses within, and immediately concluded that we had but found another entrance to the caves which the Band-lu occupied upon the other face of the cliff.
Leaping and scrambling over the rocks, they plunged into the mouths of the caves and disappeared.
In the evening wilt thou have me again: in thine own cave will I sit, patient and heavy like a block--and wait for thee
When the people heard this resolve of his, they came and told him there was a pitiless dragon in human disguise in the Haunted Cave, a dread creature which no knight had yet been bold enough to face, and begged him to rid the land of its desolating presence.
Before day-dawn, Judge Thatcher and the handful of searchers with him were tracked out, in the cave, by the twine clews they had strung behind them, and informed of the great news.
I had followed this trail for perhaps a hundred yards when a sharp turn to the right brought me to the mouth of a large cave.
But this is a lonely place, and no good meat has passed by my cave for many years; so I'm hungry.
Gathering a number of stones into a little pile beside the mouth of the cave I waited the advance of the Sagoths.
One of them, with the advantage which his wings might give him, would easily be a match for a cave bear or a tarag.
This was the mouth of the cave and the source of light.