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
So, wait, Maniscalco may do his act twirling upside down in a cage? Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 11 July 2024 Last summer, after Zuckerberg initially launched Threads, Musk challenged his social media rival to a cage fight. Madeline Fitzgerald, Quartz, 5 July 2024
Verb
The park also ordered steel caging to secure concession stand doors. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 25 June 2024 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 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 24 Jul. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on cage

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