\ ˈkāj How to pronounce cage (audio) \

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
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 How to pronounce Cage (audio) \

Definition of Cage (Entry 3 of 3)

John Milton 1912–1992 American composer

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cage


cageful \ ˈkāj-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce cageful (audio) \ 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

The way in which Nurmagomedov grapples on the cage, violently pulling down his opponents—and keeping them down—before delivering a suffocating succession of his signature ground-and-pound is likely to spell the end of Poirier (25-5-1). Justin Barrasso,, "Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov Returns to Fight Interim Champ Dustin Poirier at UFC 242," 6 Sep. 2019 As one of a small handful of water polo returners, Looges was back in the cage last week as Poway finished second in the annual Rancho Bernardo Invitational. Pomerado News, "Athlete of the Week: Meet Poway High’s ‘Mr. Goalie’," 4 Sep. 2019 So, Creel and the Knine Rescue team reached out to the community and were able to arrange transportation for the sweet mutt who had spent her whole life in a cage. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "WATCH: Dog Saved One Day Before Euthanasia to Become Senior Living Center "House Dog"," 16 Aug. 2019 The show's post-credit scene showed the Demogorgon eating the Russian prisoner after he was locked alone in a cage with the monster. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "What is a Demogorgon from "Stranger Things"?," 19 July 2019 The results were a stark contrast to public reports this past week of what children were drawing at the migrant detention centers in the U.S., north of the border — self-portraits of kids behind bars, in cages, crying. Rubén Rosario, Twin Cities, "Rosario: Pictures are worth more than a thousand words on this humanitarian border trip," 13 July 2019 Many are in a golden cage, wanting to contribute to the national economy, but can’t. Diya Khanna, The Seattle Times, "When you want to work, but can’t," 23 Oct. 2018 Afterward, the researchers scanned the rodents’ poops to see how many of them had managed to pick up E. faecium from the cages, despite the cleaning. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Hospital superbugs are evolving to survive hand sanitizers," 5 Aug. 2018 For the evening, Brown wore a long black gown featuring a thigh-high slit and cut-outs in the bodice’s rib-cage area, accessorizing with hoop earrings, various rings, a bracelet, and a gold clutch. Jen Juneau,, "Gerard Butler and Girlfriend Morgan Show Some PDA at the Red Carpet Premiere of His New Movie," 21 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

We have been separated from our families and have watched our children caged. Fortune, "The 2020 Census Is Still Problematic—Even Without the Citizenship Question: raceAhead," 20 Aug. 2019 Investigators also found caged macaw and cockatiel birds that lacked water or clean water, for which he was also charged. David Fleshler,, "Boxing champ Tyrone Spong faces wildlife charges after ‘extremely dangerous’ cougar gets loose," 16 Aug. 2019 Naron said the animal was not caged or on a leash and was being shown to tour guests. Ken Ritter,, "Wayne Newton sued over monkey biting girl visiting his home," 9 Aug. 2019 First of all, what Trump is trying to do is compare parts of Baltimore with people being caged along the border. Washington Post, "Maryland slaps back at Trump over tweet attacking Baltimore and congressman," 27 July 2019 Another way is this: The post-liberal project seeks to cage the furies loosed by Donald Trump and put them at the service of an intellectually coherent movement without the baggage of a leader accused by multiple women of rape. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, "Is Josh Hawley For Real?," 25 July 2019 The officer talked to the canines’ owners, who said the animals, which were caged, got through a fence. John Benson,, "Quick-change scam pulled on Chick-fil-A cashier: Strongsville Police Blotter," 26 June 2019 The Washington Post described a scene where nearly 400 men were packed behind caged fences in sweltering heat and virtually no space for anyone to lie down on the concrete floor. Lisa Donovan,, "On ‘Face the Nation,’ Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin discusses fear in Latino community over planned immigration raids, Trump tweets," 14 July 2019 The Humane Society of the United States estimates that there are 5,000 to 7,000 caged tigers in this country., "The trouble with tigers in America," 13 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cage

Statistics for cage

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cage

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce cage (audio) \

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.

Keep scrolling for more


\ ˈkāj How to pronounce cage (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cage

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cage

Spanish Central: Translation of cage

Nglish: Translation of cage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cage for Arabic Speakers

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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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