cage

1 of 2

noun

1
: a box or enclosure having some openwork for confining or carrying animals (such as birds)
2
a
: a barred cell for confining prisoners
b
: a fenced area for prisoners of war
3
: a framework serving as support
the steel cage of a skyscraper
4
a
: an enclosure resembling a cage in form or purpose
a cashier's cage
b
: an arrangement of atoms or molecules so bonded as to enclose a space in which another atom or ion (as of a metal) can reside
5
b
: a goal consisting of posts or a frame with a net attached (as in ice hockey)
6
: a large building containing an area for practicing outdoor sports and often adapted for indoor events
cageful noun

cage

2 of 2

verb

caged; caging

transitive verb

1
: to confine or keep in or as if in a cage
2
: to drive (a puck, a shot, etc.) into a cage and score a goal

Examples of cage in a Sentence

Noun the dogs and cats at the animal shelter looked so sad in their cages Verb caged the rabbit at night so she wouldn't wake everyone up
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Jackson investigators said the wooded neighborhood where the girls were found showed signs the location could have been used for human trafficking, including small animal cages. Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN, 14 June 2024 As women and children are being rounded up into cages, Mia (Anna Castillo) and Nico (Tamar Novas) try to escape, but they get separated and Mia ends up alone in a cargo shipping container adrift in the ocean. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, 4 June 2024
Verb
Sows spend their lives enduring multiple cycles of artificial insemination and pregnancy while caged in spaces barely larger than their bodies. Marina Bolotnikova, Vox, 4 June 2024 American leadership caged the demons—the programs of global expansion, the fratricidal fights within vital regions, the mutually immiserating protectionism, the threat of autocratic ascendancy—that tormented the world before. Hal Brands, Foreign Affairs, 27 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for cage 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cage.' 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

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin cavea "enclosure for poultry, cage, auditorium of a theater," of uncertain origin

Note: Latin cavea is usually taken to be a noun derivative of an unattested adjective *caveus, from cavus "hollow, concave" (see cave entry 1, hole entry 1), the sense "something hollow, cavity" being extended to "enclosed space" and then "enclosure"; however, -eus is normally a denominal suffix meaning "made of" (see -eous), so that the resulting sense of the derivative is not clear. Perhaps of relevance is the suffix of alveus "trough, hull, channel" (see alveolus).

Verb

derivative of cage entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cage was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near cage

Cite this Entry

“Cage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cage. Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

cage

1 of 2 noun
1
: an enclosure that has large openings covered usually with wire net or bars and is used for keeping animals or birds
2
: an enclosure like a cage in form or purpose
cageful noun

cage

2 of 2 verb
caged; caging
: to put or keep in or as if in a cage

Medical Definition

cage

noun
: an arrangement of atoms or molecules so bonded as to enclose a space in which another atom or ion (as of a metal) can reside

Biographical Definition

Cage

biographical name

John Milton 1912–1992 American composer

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