adjective, cag·i·er, cag·i·est.


or cag·y


adjective, cag·i·er, cag·i·est.

cautious, wary, or shrewd: a cagey reply to the probing question.

Origin of cagey

An Americanism dating back to 1890–95; cage + -y1
Related formscag·i·ly, adverbcag·i·ness, cag·ey·ness, noun

Synonyms for cagey

Antonyms for cagey Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cagy

Historical Examples of cagy

  • You'd be surprised at how cagy those officers got after a few of them had been captured.

    Spacehounds of IPC

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • But this time he was in wrong; I'd been dumped by him so often that I was cagy.

  • He knows that he's followed, all right, and he's cagy enough to keep in the open and pretend to be aboveboard.

    On Secret Service

    William Nelson Taft

  • He's squintin' at me foxy out of them shifty eyes of his, cagy and suspicious, like we was playin' some kind of a game.

British Dictionary definitions for cagy



adjective -ier or -iest

informal not open or frank; cautious; wary
Derived Formscagily, adverbcaginess, noun

Word Origin for cagey

C20: 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 cagy



"evasive, reticent," 1896, U.S. colloquial, of unknown origin. Earlier in English dialect it meant "sportive."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper