\ ˈkash How to pronounce cache (audio) \

Definition of cache

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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


cached; caching

Definition of cache (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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 fugitive slaves in their cellar until they could make their way to Canada
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Now, the new cache of internal Facebook documents provides more insight into that dynamic. Washington Post, 25 Oct. 2021 The cache of almost 12 million files shows how wealthy people around the world reportedly set up offshore companies to buy property and avoid taxes. Pan Pylas, ajc, 5 Oct. 2021 His book contains a selection of about 100 items from the cache, all filled with promises for a much improved, efficient or glamorous home life, dominated by curved lines and bright colors -- beautiful relics of a simpler, more careless world. CNN, 12 July 2022 Even if Twitter succeeded at accumulating the cultural and technological cache needed to emulate WeChat, there’s no guarantee regulators would tolerate such concentrated authority. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 17 June 2022 Found in six sacrificial pits, according to China Daily’s Wang Kaihao, the cache includes 1,238 bronze wares, 543 gold artifacts and 565 jade objects. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 June 2022 The cache of Christian texts came to be known as the Gnostic Gospels. Michael J. Kruger, WSJ, 6 June 2022 The cache of footage comes courtesy of writer and friend of the group Paul Bellini, known best to fans as Man in Towel, who was then an aspiring filmmaker. Mike Postalakis, SPIN, 25 May 2022 The novel, the third in a series of books about this turbulent period, was inspired by a cache of secret-police files, which the daughter of a former K.G.B. officer bequeathed to Kurkov several years earlier. New York Times, 24 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb However, this can be overcome by selecting technologies that can cache and automatically synchronize data to the cloud. Jiang Li, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 If all goes according to plan, Perseverance will amass dozens of rock samples from throughout Jezero Crater over the next couple years, then cache them for a future sample return mission to pick up. Ramin Skibba, Wired, 2 Sep. 2021 Eventually, the Perseverance rover will collect and cache the rock and regolith to be returned in a joint mission with the ESA (European Space Agency). Julia Musto, Fox News, 21 July 2021 The rover will cache soil samples for eventual return to Earth by a series of retrieval missions carried out jointly by NASA and the European Space Agency. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, 19 Apr. 2021 His followers should cache weapons, ammunition, hydrogen peroxide, kitchen matches. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, 8 Mar. 2021 Even more significant, Perseverance will cache the most intriguing Mars samples so that they can eventually be collected and brought back to Earth as early as 2031. Popular Science, 7 Jan. 2021 These middens are where the Mount Graham red squirrels cache their cones. Anton L. Delgado, The Arizona Republic, 2 Nov. 2020 Wolves also will cache parts of a kill to eat later. Star Tribune, 24 Oct. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cache.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cache


1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1805, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cache


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).


verbal derivative of cache entry 1

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best Wi-Fi routers.

Learn More About cache

Dictionary Entries Near cache




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cache

Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cache.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for cache


\ ˈkash How to pronounce cache (audio) \

Kids Definition of cache

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a place for hiding, storing, or preserving treasure or supplies The hole in the wall is my cache.
2 : something hidden or stored in a cache a cache of money


cached; caching

Kids Definition of cache (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put or store so as to be safe or hidden : place in a cache The coins were cached in a teapot.

More from Merriam-Webster on cache

Nglish: Translation of cache for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cache for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cache


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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