ca·​gey | \ ˈkā-jē How to pronounce cagey (audio) \
variants: or less commonly cagy
cagier; cagiest

Definition of cagey

1 : hesitant about committing oneself officials are cagey about giving out details
2a : wary of being trapped or deceived : shrewd a cagey consumer
b : marked by cleverness a cagey reply

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Other Words from cagey

cagily \ ˈkā-​jə-​lē How to pronounce cagily (audio) \ adverb
caginess or less commonly cageyness \ ˈkā-​jē-​nəs How to pronounce cageyness (audio) \ noun

Examples of cagey in a Sentence

a cagey old politician who is exceptionally skilled at getting federal money for his district when it came time to sign the contract, he suddenly got cagey about taking on the job
Recent Examples on the Web Fine Gael has ruled out working with Sinn Fein outright; Fianna Fail has been more cagey about the prospect, opting to keep its options open. Ian Bremmer, Time, "What Happens Next in Ireland," 14 Feb. 2020 Farrow is playfully cagey about his extraordinary access to Hollywood. Anne Diebel, The New York Review of Books, "The Good Guy," 28 Jan. 2020 Although cagey about the specifics of production, Reed concedes that the fruits are to be of appropriate firmness and boast a more subtle color than the usual deep red of American strawberries. Fortune, "These $50 ‘Strawberries’ Are Popping Up on Michelin-Starred Menus," 14 Jan. 2020 Still, even after our conversation, his advisers were extremely cagey about what could be quoted, fearing his words would be twisted and misused by his enemies. New York Times, "Mohammed bin Zayed’s Dark Vision of the Middle East’s Future," 9 Jan. 2020 Few Beltway figures have proven themselves cagier than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R). Edward Morrissey, TheWeek, "Mitch McConnell outmaneuvers the Democrats — again," 7 Jan. 2020 In fact, purchasing a $22.99 green jumpsuit from a cagey Internet vender with no return option is an integral part of the healing process. Emily Winter, The New Yorker, "The Seven Emojis of Grief," 25 Sep. 2019 That’s why the cagey veteran took a diplomatic approach when asked about Ohio State vs. Michigan ahead of Saturday’s showdown. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers coach John Beilein has call into NBA office to discuss interpretation of travel calls," 29 Nov. 2019 The cagey Nixon, however, is equally bent on redeeming himself in his nation's eyes., "Community News For The Windham Edition," 8 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cagey.' 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 cagey

1876, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cagey

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for cagey

Time Traveler

The first known use of cagey was in 1876

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Statistics for cagey

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cagey.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cagey


How to pronounce cagey (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cagey

: not willing to say everything that you know about something
: careful to avoid being trapped or tricked
: very clever


ca·​gey | \ ˈkā-jē How to pronounce cagey (audio) \
cagier; cagiest

Kids Definition of cagey

1 : unwilling to act or speak in a direct or open way He was cagey about his intentions.
2 : clever in a tricky way … those cagey girls … managed … to have all the fun and leave him and their mother with all the work.— Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia

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More from Merriam-Webster on cagey

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cagey

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cagey

Spanish Central: Translation of cagey

Nglish: Translation of cagey for Spanish Speakers

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