\ ˈkaj How to pronounce cadge (audio) \
cadged; cadging; cadges

Definition of cadge

transitive verb

: to obtain (something) for free often by persuading or imposing on another : sponge … he got mixed up with this dreadful girl who cadged chewing gum from the American soldiers and sneered at him.— Eva Ibbotson Teens are spending huge amounts of money themselves, some of it cadged from their families and the rest from after-school jobs.— Peg Tyre et al. … Coleman, as the 15-year-old sports editor of his high school newspaper in Corpus Christi, Texas, once cadged an interview out of Jack Dempsey.— Jack McCallum also : to take, use, or borrow (something) without acknowledgment Later, when she orders the Athenian senators to step down or die, their unlikely answer—"We no longer are defensible"—is cadged from "Henry V." — Jesse Green

Other Words from cadge

cadger noun

Did you know?

As long ago as the 1400s, peddlers traveled the British countryside, each with a packhorse or a horse and cart—first carrying produce from rural farms to town markets, then returning with small wares to sell to country folk. The Middle English name for such traders was cadgear; Scottish dialects rendered the term as cadger. Etymologists are pretty sure the verb cadge was created as a back-formation of cadger (which is to say, it was formed by removal of the "-er" suffix). At its most general, cadger meant "carrier," and the verb cadge meant "to carry." More specifically, the verb meant to go about as a cadger or peddler. By the 1800s, it was used when someone who posed as a peddler turned out to be more of a beggar, from which arose our present-day use.

Examples of cadge in a Sentence

She cadged money from her sister.
Recent Examples on the Web With the force of his personality, Gary hustles his way into the water-bed business and then barges into a local radio station to cadge some free advertising from a hip d.j. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 1 Dec. 2021 The conventional wisdom had been to cadge donations by artful or emotional pitches, to engage people’s idealism or politics. Steven Levy, Wired, 12 Feb. 2021 Several calves, their fur a chestnut brown that will later turn white, scurried alongside their mothers adorably, cadging an occasional sip of milk. Maria Russo, New York Times, 16 Sep. 2019 Malloch never minded hospital food and would often cadge a lunch and stay on for dinner, delighting in the conversation in-between. Sam Whiting,, 29 June 2019 One recent morning, a man dropped by Mr. Mishurov’s farmyard office to cadge a bucket of corn for his hens. James Marson, WSJ, 23 Sep. 2018 But their games last night devolved into dissertations on solo play while the other starters hung around the 3-point line like beggars hoping to cadge quarters from the stars. Michael Powell, New York Times, 15 May 2018 Mike, Judith says, would cadge free pizza by offering to climb to the top of his barracks. John Kelly, Washington Post, 27 May 2018 What started with independent groups of skaters cadging together D.I.Y. skate parks out of concrete and scrap wood grew into a movement to make the entire city a skate park. Jeff Ihaza, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of cadge

circa 1790, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cadge

back-formation from Scots cadger carrier, huckster, from Middle English cadgear

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The first known use of cadge was circa 1790

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Cite this Entry

“Cadge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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