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

Example Sentences

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
Mir also is proactive in sharing his expertise and wisdom for those in other areas of life outside of a ring or cage. Roger Lockridge, Men's Health, 11 Nov. 2022 Bobbi Brink, the founder and director of Lions Tigers & Bears, discovered Eddie in a small cage on a road leading up to the sanctuary. Kelli Bender, Peoplemag, 9 Nov. 2022 Photo above: Mechanic Alberto Pachuca builds an anti-theft cage around a Toyota Prius' catalytic converter at Johnny Franklin Muffler in Santa Rosa in January 2021. Fifth & Mission Podcast, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Nov. 2022 The Tesla founder posted a photo of a Nazi soldier with a crate of carrier pigeons on his back, with an unread notifications badge photoshopped onto the cage. Tori Otten, The New Republic, 7 Nov. 2022 Katie Holmes, for one, wore a crystal cage dress from Jonathan Simkhai with a swishy fringe hemline—a modern take on the 1920s flapper dress. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 7 Nov. 2022 In the end, Abel's Adam was trapped in the cage with Lucifer for a very, very long time. Samantha Highfill, EW.com, 6 Nov. 2022 Light fixtures resemble birdhouses, and a table for large groups sits inside an enormous gilded cage. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, 4 Nov. 2022 With 58 seconds left, Lindholm’s empty-netter traveled 176 feet into the cage. Matt Porter, BostonGlobe.com, 4 Nov. 2022
Verb
Investments in border defenses since then, along with regular deportations by Iran and Turkey, both of which receive E.U. money to manage migration, have helped to cage Afghans within their own country. New York Times, 8 Aug. 2022 This being the nation’s capital, a multiagency task force of more than half a dozen agencies has assembled a dragnet across city, state and federal lands to cage the wily bird. James V. Grimaldi, WSJ, 1 May 2022 During an era that experienced record rates of inequality and modernization, Black Americans of the upper class carved a place for themselves in a world that worked to cage them in and paint them as inferior. NBC News, 7 Mar. 2022 From an unbelievable drone show to cage riders, the contestants left the judges speechless at times. Chloe Melas, CNN, 22 Feb. 2022 Adetiba says the successful outing taught her not to cage her audience. Anita Patrick, CNN, 16 Aug. 2021 Securities regulators are trying to cage Elon Musk’s tweets. Francesca Fontana, WSJ, 4 June 2021 In July, climbers cage the cones of those trees to foil the Clark’s nutcracker. Jim Morrison, Wired, 24 Dec. 2020 Trump’s instinctive unilateralism, his belief that international institutions cage the U.S. rather than project its power, forced other nations to change their calculations about dealing with Washington. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 29 Oct. 2020 See More

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.

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 1 Dec. 2022.

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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