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

After starting very cagey, this game was really starting to open up., "Arsenal Withstands CSKA Moscow Comeback, Reaches Europa League Semifinals," 12 Apr. 2018 The Petrel team has been a little cagey about Hornet's precise location, and for good reason. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Explorers Discover the Wreck of the Aircraft Carrier USS Hornet, Sunk in World War II," 12 Feb. 2019 It’s hard to put that in perspective because most boat companies are notoriously cagey about listing prices, but a Sea Fox 226 Commander center console shows a dealer asking $66,995 with a 200-hp Yamaha and no trailer. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Testing the Yamaha 210 FSH: The Boat That Blew Up the Formula," 31 Aug. 2018 Five submarines are participating in RIMPAC, but authorities are being a little cagey about which ones. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Here Are the 50-Plus Ships That Participated in the Navy's Pacific Wargames," 2 Aug. 2018 Egypt coach Hector Cuper, was cagey when asked Sunday about Kadyrov's use of Salah to make political gains. Hemza Hendawi,, "Reports: Salah considering retirement from Egypt due to Chechnya controversy," 25 June 2018 Whilst Gracia took some positives from today's game, such as the return of Craig Cathcart, his team were largely toothless, creating few chances in a cagey game., "Javi Gracia Bemoans 'Cruel' Game as Late Huddersfield Strike Denies Watford a Deserved Draw," 15 Apr. 2018 The automaker is still negotiating the particulars of the deal, has not divulged which city will host this program, and being cagey on details like how many cars will make up the robo-fleet. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "Mercedes Will Launch Self-Driving Taxis in California Next Year," 10 July 2018 The first round of group games is cagey, cautious; everyone worries that this year’s competition will be the worst in history. Rory Smith, New York Times, "This Is When the World Cup Surprises End. Usually.," 29 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near cagey


cage tender






Statistics for cagey

Last Updated

28 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cagey

The first known use of cagey was in 1876

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More Definitions for cagey



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cagey

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cagey

Spanish Central: Translation of cagey

Nglish: Translation of cagey for Spanish Speakers

Comments on cagey

What made you want to look up cagey? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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