verb (used with object), cadged, cadg·ing.

to obtain by imposing on another's generosity or friendship.
to borrow without intent to repay.
to beg or obtain by begging.

verb (used without object), cadged, cadg·ing.

to ask, expect, or encourage another person to pay for or provide one's drinks, meals, etc.
to beg.

Origin of cadge

1275–1325; perhaps to be identified with Middle English caggen to tie, of uncertain origin
Related formscadg·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for cadger

bum, sponge, moocher, mendicant, freeloader, mooch, scrounger, sponger

Examples from the Web for cadger

Historical Examples of cadger

  • "They're Annie the Cadger's," said John, dropping to the ground.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • A beggar is not etymologically one who begs, or a cadger one who cadges.

  • "Man, ye're a cadger of the most appallin' descreeption," said Tam severely.

    Tam O' The Scoots

    Edgar Wallace

  • Ye will die the death of a cadger's powney, in a wreath of drift!

    Red Gauntlet

    Sir Walter Scott

  • Arra, dear shoy, I sowed them in my belly, and sold the hens to a cadger.

British Dictionary definitions for cadger



(ˈkædʒə) British a person who cadges
(ˈkædʒər) Scot a pedlar or carrier



to get (food, money, etc) by sponging or begging


British a person who cadges
on the cadge British informal engaged in cadging

Word Origin for cadge

C17: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cadger



"to beg" (1812), "to get by begging" (1848), of uncertain origin, perhaps a back-formation from cadger "itinerant dealer with a pack-horse," mid-15c., which is perhaps from early 14c. cadge "to fasten, to tie," of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper