\ ˈkāj \

Definition of cage 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a box or enclosure having some openwork for confining or carrying animals (such as birds)

2a : 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

4a : 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

5a : batting cage

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


caged; caging

Definition of cage (Entry 2 of 3)

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


biographical name
\ ˈkāj \

Definition of Cage (Entry 3 of 3)

John Milton 1912–1992 American composer

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Other words from cage


cageful \-ˌfu̇l \ noun

Examples of cage in a Sentence


the dogs and cats at the animal shelter looked so sad in their cages


caged the rabbit at night so she wouldn't wake everyone up

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This has given me an opportunity to fine-tune my swing in the cage. Tom Verducci,, "The Star That Still Won't Shine: The Incredible, Unprecedented but Unseen Greatness of Mike Trout," 12 July 2018 After hearing the story Brett recalled above in this column, one team source simply pointed out that Grifol had already been in the cage working when Brett walked in. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "The swings and misses of George Brett's turn as the Royals' hitting coach," 8 July 2018 Just trying to stay consistent with my work in the cage. Matthew Defranks,, "A Closer Look: Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Miami Marlins 0," 28 June 2018 These days are good, just get your mind off of stuff, be ready to go late and get some extra hacks in the cage. Kevin Acee,, "Padres notes: Scuffling Hosmer sits; good news on Lyles," 25 June 2018 Between these guys, these guys are taught to be fighters and animals in the cage. Fox News, "Trump to skip White House Correspondents' Dinner again," 6 Apr. 2018 At my daughter's house, she was kept in a very large metal cage most of the day because of work and school. Cathy M. Rosenthal,, "Pet World: Wide-Awake Cat Is Keeping Her Up All Night," 5 July 2018 Visiting tourists or researchers often go underwater in protective metal cages to observe the hundreds of great white sharks that congregate in the area. Rebecca Robbins, STAT, "A daredevil researcher’s latest quest: to restore sight lost to glaucoma using virtual reality," 2 July 2018 Government provided video shows more than 1,100 people inside metal cages in a warehouse that's divided into separate wings for unaccompanied children, adults on their own, and mothers and fathers with children. Dianna M. Náñez, azcentral, "'A mother keeps her word': Lawsuit to help reunite migrant mother, daughter in Los Angeles," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the judiciary says that child migrants have a right not to be caged, at all. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "We Owe Central American Migrants Much More Than This," 21 June 2018 Back when those kids were being caged, the president of the United States had a zero tolerance policy for people who crossed without the right papers. Mary Schmich,, "Mom, why did they put the kids in cages? One day adults will have to explain the shame," 19 June 2018 Colorado Parks and Wildlife caught and caged the bear. Patty Hodapp, Outside Online, "The Man Who Survived a Rattler, Bear, and Shark Attack," 10 July 2018 Potomac Watch Podcast Potomac Watch Podcast About 2,300 kids have been separated from their parents since May, and pictures of caged toddlers and recordings of crying babies have resulted in the biggest public backlash of the Trump Presidency. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump’s Immigration Choice," 20 June 2018 Roth’s pessimism about the prospect of national redemption should be instructive to critics of President Donald Trump’s policy of caging migrant children in isolation from their parents. The Economist, "A blot against America," 23 June 2018 Inside the facility, children lie on mats beneath bright lights that never go out, wrapped in Mylar blankets, caged behind chain-link fences. The Economist, "America’s immigration system is broken," 28 June 2018 They can be held for several days in cells and caged areas at the processing area until they can be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement or released with ankle bracelets. NBC News, "Try later: It's getting tougher for migrants to claim asylum at U.S. ports of entry," 23 June 2018 One of those voices is pop star Ricky Martin, who is asking the president to stop caging children and separating families. Justino Aguila, Billboard, "Telemundo, Univision Speak Out on Border Separation of Families: It's Not 'What America Stands For'," 20 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of cage


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cage


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) though what the meaning of such a word would be is unclear, as cavea denotes an enclosure rather than a cavity in something larger; note that -eus is normally a denominal suffix meaning "made of" (see -eous). Perhaps of relevance is the suffix of alveus "trough, hull, channel" (see alveolus).


derivative of cage entry 1

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Phrases Related to cage

rattle someone's cage

Statistics for cage

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cage

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

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More Definitions for cage



Financial Definition of cage

What It Is

A cage is a department in a brokerage firm.

How It Works

The cage is a physical location in which people at a brokerage firm handle physical securities and certificates. The location is called a cage because it usually has bars or other barriers to prevent other people from entering and exiting, and it usually has a vault.

Why It Matters

The cage is a crucial part of any brokerage firm's operations because it ensures that clients' physical certificates are kept safe and sound, and that the right securities are exchanged in transactions.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of cage

: a box made of wire or metal bars in which people keep animals or birds


\ ˈkāj \

Kids Definition of cage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a box or enclosure that has large openings covered usually with wire net or bars and is used for keeping birds or animals a hamster cage

2 : an enclosure like a cage in shape or purpose a bank teller's cage


caged; caging

Kids Definition of cage (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put or keep in or as if in a cage She caged the birds together.

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\ ˈkāj \

Medical Definition of cage 

: 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

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Comments on cage

What made you want to look up cage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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