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 Biden and Clyburn have been longtime friends, but Clyburn stayed cagey in the days leading up to his endorsement announcement. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "South Carolina kingmaker Rep. James Clyburn endorses Joe Biden ahead of primary," 26 Feb. 2020 The Schuyler sisters provide the most beautiful voices in the production, with Krystal Joy Brown offering a poignant Eliza, and Mandy Gonzalez a smart and cagey Angelica. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Is Hamilton Overrated?," 10 Feb. 2020 Cote and Mark were pretty cagey when asked if Michael will be back. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Will Michael Weatherly Return to NCIS? 4 Hints a Tony and Ziva Reunion Is Happening," 7 Jan. 2020 Quarterback Drew Lock looked like a cagey veteran and not a first-time NFL road starter, completing 22 of his 27 attempts for 309 yards and three touchdowns. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos Status Report: Finally, in the 13th game, it all comes together," 8 Dec. 2019 Mia is transformed from a cagey lone wolf into a woman with unlimited intense sympathy for another. Ariana Romero,, "Little Fires Everywhere Is Domestic Chaos, So Pay Attention To This Baby Drama," 18 Mar. 2020 Team director Ihab Lahita was cagey about his progress, saying there was no guarantee Salah will play in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday. Afp,, "Salah returns to Egypt training ahead of World Cup debut," 13 June 2018 The cagey encounter somewhat opened up after the deadlock was broken and Manchester United striker Lukaku was able to notch Belgium's second and third goals to give the Red Devils a vital win in their opening game., "Belgium 3-0 Panama: Romelu Lukaku Brace Helps Red Devils Break Panamanian Hearts," 18 June 2018 Shannon has always been cagey about how the fillets are prepared. Tim Carman, Washington Post, "After 30 years, Horace & Dickie’s is saying goodbye to a neighborhood its owner no longer recognizes," 27 Feb. 2020

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

8 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cagey.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 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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