cave

(redirected from caves)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

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

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

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

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

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in classic literature ?
And right gingerly he crept out or his cave and descended to the ground.
He cut diagonally across the open space and dashed into a wide-mouthed cave.
In my note to Carthoris I had given explicit directions for locating the Carrion Caves, impressing upon him the necessity for making entrance to the country beyond through this avenue, and not to attempt under any circumstances to cross the ice-barrier with a fleet.
As he poked his head through the narrow aperture that connects the two caves a heavy long-sword was awaiting him upon either hand, and before he had an opportunity to emit even a single growl his severed head rolled at our feet.
It seemed that I had scarcely settled myself in a comfortable position before a party of cave men emerged from one of the smaller apertures in the cliff-face, about fifty feet from the base.
After this came other parties, and two or three groups who passed out of the forest and up the cliff-face to enter the same cave. I could not understand it.
On the morrow I was to die some sort of nameless death for the diversion of a savage horde, but the morrow held fewer terrors for me than the present, and I submit to any fair-minded man if it is not a terrifying thing to lie bound hand and foot in the Stygian blackness of an immense cave peopled by unknown dangers in a land overrun by hideous beasts and reptiles of the greatest ferocity.
For long moments no sound broke the sepulchral silence of the cave. Then I heard a movement on the part of the creature near me, and again it touched me, and I felt something like a hairless hand pass over my face and down until it touched the collar of my flannel shirt.
I know that the bones of my son lie in the cave, for I have seen them in a dream; but, alas!
"Now stranger, if you have strength, come to the mouth of the cave and look out, for the moon is bright."
That evening, after dusk, he came down to our little camp, handed me (for some reason he had always shown his attentions to me, perhaps because I was the one who was nearest his age) a small roll of the bark of a tree, and then pointing solemnly up at the row of caves above him, he had put his finger to his lips as a sign of secrecy and had stolen back again to his people.
"He pointed up to the caves when he gave it to me," said I.
And then something gave, there was a momentary feeling of nausea, a sharp click as of the snapping of a steel wire, and I stood with my back against the wall of the cave facing my unknown foe.
And then the moonlight flooded the cave, and there before me lay my own body as it had been lying all these hours, with the eyes staring toward the open ledge and the hands resting limply upon the ground.
As I backed along the ledge I soon was past the mouth of the cave, where I no longer could see those fearful flaming eyes, but an instant later I caught sight of the fiendish face of a Sagoth as it warily advanced beyond the cliff's turn on the far side of the cave's mouth.