cave


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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!
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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

keep cave

old-fashioned To remain vigilant or carefully watchful (for something or someone); to act as a guard or watch. In this phrase, "cave" derives from a Latin word meaning "beware." The gang employed youths from the area to keep cave and give a signal if any police officers arrived. I offered to keep cave at the door, as I had no intention of risking my life in that creepy old house.
See also: cave, keep

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.
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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.
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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

v.
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 ?
The Folk were seeking the safety of the caves. Lop-Ear led the way to bed.
"And ever since that long-gone day have the dead of this fabled land been carried to the Carrion Caves, that in death and decay they might serve their country and warn away invading enemies.
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.
Here in the dim light of their subterranean home the value of their great eyes was apparent, for these inner caves are shrouded in perpetual gloom that is but little less than utter darkness.
I had seen her pass beneath me but a short while before and enter the small cave that had swallowed all of the returning tribesmen.
The cave was but the mouth of a passage that led upward through the cliff to the summit of the hill.
I looked on in amazement, for, splendid climbers though the cave men of Pellucidar are, I never before had seen so remarkable a feat per-formed.
As she cut away my bonds, she told me that from the entrance to our cave she had seen the Band-lu coming out of the forest with me, and she had followed until they took me into the cave, which she had seen was upon the opposite side of the cliff in which ours was located; and then, knowing that she could do nothing for me until after the Band-lu slept, she had hastened to return to our cave.
It had been her intention to wait until after midnight, when most of the carnivora would have made their kills, and then attempt to reach the cave in which I was imprisoned and rescue me.
After considerable difficulty we gained what we thought was our cave, only to find that it was not, and then we realized that we were lost in the labyrinthine mazes of the great cavern.
There is a cliff rising from the plain, up which I must climb; there is the forest where dwell the Amatongo, the people of the ghosts; there, on the hither side of the forest, runs the path to the cave, and here is the cave itself.
So they slept, and without the door of the cave the wolves howled, scenting the blood of men.
With certain of the people of the Umtetwa he wandered into Swaziland, and sojourned with the Halakazi tribe in their great caves; and the end of it was that he killed the chief of the tribe and took his place.
They would have had us share their caves with them, but Lord John would by no means consent to it considering that to do so would put us in their power if they were treacherously disposed.
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.