a boxlike enclosure having wires, bars, or the like, for confining and displaying birds or animals.
anything that confines or imprisons; prison.
something resembling a cage in structure, as for a cashier or bank teller.
the car or enclosed platform of an elevator.
Mining. an enclosed platform for raising and lowering people and cars in a mine shaft.
any skeleton framework.
Baseball. a movable backstop for use mainly in batting practice.
a frame with a net attached to it, forming the goal in ice hockey and field hockey.
Basketball Older Use. the basket.
a loose, sheer or lacy overdress worn with a slip or a close-fitting dress.
Ordnance. a steel framework for supporting guns.
Machinery, retainer1 (def 3).
to put or confine in or as if in a cage.
Sports. to shoot (as a puck) into a cage so as to score a goal.
John, 1912–1992, U.S. composer.
Contemporary Examples

The Great Python Hunt Catharine Skipp February 25, 2010
Tragedy in a Lion’s Lair: Sanctuary Intern Died Following Her Passion Christine Pelisek March 7, 2013
Jesus Said Knock You Out: In ‘Fight Church’ Christians Beat Thy Neighbor Bryan Storkel September 15, 2014
Of Herrings and Elephants: Benny Morris and “Palestinian Rejectionism” Daniel Levy April 15, 2012
Nicolas Cage, Compulsive Spender Jacob Bernstein November 2, 2009

Historical Examples

The Nursery, March 1873, Vol. XIII. Various
The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
Gorillas & Chimpanzees R. L. Garner
Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
Mopsa the Fairy Jean Ingelow


an enclosure, usually made with bars or wire, for keeping birds, monkeys, mice, etc
(as modifier): cagebird

a thing or place that confines or imprisons
something resembling a cage in function or structure: the rib cage
the enclosed platform of a lift, esp as used in a mine
(engineering) a skeleton ring device that ensures that the correct amount of space is maintained between the individual rollers or balls in a rolling bearing
(informal) the basket used in basketball
(informal) the goal in ice hockey
(US) a steel framework on which guns are supported
(informal) rattle someone’s cage, to upset or anger someone
(transitive) to confine in or as in a cage
John. 1912–92, US composer of experimental music for a variety of conventional, modified, or invented instruments. He evolved a type of music apparently undetermined by the composer, such as in Imaginary Landscape (1951) for 12 radio sets. Other works include Reunion (1968), Apartment Building 1776 (1976), and Europeras 3 and 4 (1990)

A prison (1630s+)
A car or van: The cage behind me bleated its horn (1970s+ Motorcyclists)
A basketball basket or net (1920s+ Sports)
Basketball (1920s+ Sports)

: The punk concealed a genuine terror of being caged


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  • Cage-fighting

    noun a form of extreme fighting taking place in an enclosed space

  • Cage-rattler

    cage rattler

  • Cage-zone-melting

    zone melting of a square bar of the material to be purified, done so that the impurities are concentrated at the corners.

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