cache

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: a hiding place especially for concealing and preserving provisions or implements
b
: a secure place of storage
discovered a cache of weapons
2
: something hidden or stored in a cache
The cache consisted of documents and private letters.
3
: a computer memory with very short access time used for storage of frequently or recently used instructions or data

called also cache memory

cache

2 of 2

verb

cached; caching

transitive verb

: to place (something) in a cache: such as
a
: to place or store (something) in a hidden or secure place for safety or concealment
cache camp supplies by a lake
coins cached in a teapot
b
computers : to place (instructions or data) in cache memory for temporary storage
caching websites to speed up future retrieval

Did you know?

Cash and Cache

Cache and cash are homophones (words that are pronounced alike but have different meanings, origins, or spelling) whose likeness in sound may lead to perplexity.

Cache primarily refers to a thing that is hidden or stored somewhere, or to the place where it is hidden. It has recently taken on another common meaning, “short-term computer memory where information is stored for easy retrieval.” Cash, on the other hand, is most often used in the sense “ready money.”

If you find yourself confused by these words, remember that you can store cash in a cache, but you can't do the reverse. Be mindful, too, that if you run out of cash you won't be able to buy something, but if you're short on cache, your computer won’t work.

Examples of cache in a Sentence

Noun a weapons cache used by terrorists Police found a cache of stolen cars in the woods. Her new laptop has one megabyte of cache. Verb an eccentric who cached money in odd places, such as under the boards of the floor cached the fugitives in their cellar until they could make their way to Canada
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Still, Moscow has experimented with its Tobol electronic warfare systems in a bid to disrupt Starlink’s transmissions in Ukraine, according to a cache of sensitive materials leaked online last year through the messaging platform Discord. Shane Harris, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 In Guayaquil, soldiers and police officers destroy camera systems installed by gangs to watch over entire neighborhoods, storm into areas once largely off-limits to the police and knock down doors to uncover caches of guns and explosives. Annie Correal Federico Rios, New York Times, 7 Feb. 2024 Hundreds of years ago, someone filled an oak box with a cache of coins. Moira Ritter, Miami Herald, 1 Feb. 2024 Germany’s federal prosecutor said one of the men, acting under order from Hamas leaders in Lebanon, had in the spring begun searching for a cache of weapons the organization had clandestinely assembled in the past. Bertrand Benoit, WSJ, 14 Dec. 2023 Durham: Duke University owns an enormous cache of photos of historic China. Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 The way to find the caches is by downloading GPS coordinates. Pete Zimowsky, Idaho Statesman, 31 Jan. 2024 This supposition led to a whole bunch of experimentation with Cloudflare page rules and cache rules, increasing the scope of caching. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, 26 Jan. 2024 Destroying a major cache like the ones intercepted in the fall could still present a challenge. Gerrit De Vynck, Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2024
Verb
Posts were being cached and cleared as required; the front page was being cached and cleared as required; the various /feed/ URLs (vital to the functionality of the Space City Weather app, now on the iOS and Google Play stores!) were being flushed and grabbed as pages were refreshed. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, 26 Jan. 2024 And caching, too—any website falls apart without caching to do the heavy lifting. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, 19 July 2023 The Perseverance rover has already cached 10 of these samples. Chris Impey, Discover Magazine, 27 Oct. 2023 And because cloud gaming is a real-time activity that requires minimal latency, Stadia cannot rely on common techniques such as offline encoding of video files, caching video content in advance along the network path, or taking advantage of video client buffers to smooth out network glitches. IEEE Spectrum, 22 July 2019 No, wolves do not cache their kills like mountain lions do. Katie Hill, Outdoor Life, 23 Aug. 2023 Apart from that, technology solutions such as server-side rendering, caching, lightweight frameworks and pruning plugins will go a long way. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 7 Mar. 2023 Jays are said to cache a kabillion nuts, give or take, every winter, and unerringly remember the location of each one. Murr Brewster, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 Apr. 2023 In both incidents, officials caught Rae collecting and caching elk antlers inside Bridger-Teton National Forest boundaries during a closed season. Dac Collins, Outdoor Life, 24 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cache.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

borrowed from North American French, from French, "hiding place," noun derivative of cacher "to hide, conceal," going back to Old French cachier, quaichier "to put away, lock up, cover, remove from view, conceal" (also Middle French cacher "to press, crush"), going back to Vulgar Latin *coācticāre "to press, constrict," from Latin coāctāre "to compel" (frequentative of cōgere "to drive together, collect, compress, compel") + -icāre, verb formative — more at cogent

Note: The etymological sense "to compress, constrict" is not attested for the Old French verb, though it likely existed and is apparent in the prefixed form escachier "to crush and flatten, break by pressing or falling on." From the sense "compress" presumably developed the senses "lock up, cover, put away," and hence "remove from view, conceal," common from the sixteenth century. The sense "to press, crush" is marginally evident in Middle French in areas in contact with Occitan, though it penetrated widely enough to form the basis for the derivative cachet "seal" (see cachet).

Verb

verbal derivative of cache entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1805, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cache was in 1797

Dictionary Entries Near cache

Cite this Entry

“Cache.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cache. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

cache

1 of 2 noun
1
: a place for hiding, storing, or preserving treasure or supplies
2
: something hidden or stored in a cache
3
: a computer memory with very short access time

cache

2 of 2 verb
cached; caching
: to hide or store in a cache

More from Merriam-Webster on cache

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!