[ keyn ]
See synonyms for: canecanedcaning on

  1. a stick or short staff used to assist one in walking; walking stick.

  2. a long, hollow or pithy, jointed woody stem, as that of bamboo, rattan, sugarcane, and certain palms.

  1. a plant having such a stem.

  2. split rattan woven or interlaced for chair seats, wickerwork, etc.

  3. any of several tall bamboolike grasses, especially of the genus Arundinaria, as A. gigantea(cane reed, large cane, giant cane, or southern cane ) and A. tecta(small cane, or switch cane ), of the southern United States.

  4. the stem of a raspberry or blackberry.

  5. a rod used for flogging.

  6. a slender cylinder or rod, as of sealing wax or glass.

verb (used with object),caned, can·ing.
  1. to flog with a cane.

  2. to furnish or make with cane: to cane chairs.

Origin of cane

First recorded in1350–1400; Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin canna, from Greek kánna, from Semitic; compare Akkadian qanū, Hebrew qāneh “reed”

Other words from cane

  • canelike, adjective
  • cany, adjective
  • re·cane, verb (used with object), re·caned, re·can·ing.
  • un·caned, adjective

Words Nearby cane Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cane in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cane (1 of 2)


/ (keɪn) /

    • the long jointed pithy or hollow flexible stem of the bamboo, rattan, or any similar plant

    • any plant having such a stem

    • strips of such stems, woven or interlaced to make wickerwork, the seats and backs of chairs, etc

    • (as modifier): a cane chair

  1. the woody stem of a reed, young grapevine, blackberry, raspberry, or loganberry

  2. any of several grasses with long stiff stems, esp Arundinaria gigantea of the southeastern US

  3. a flexible rod with which to administer a beating as a punishment, as to schoolboys

  4. a slender rod, usually wooden and often ornamental, used for support when walking; walking stick

  5. a slender rod or cylinder, as of glass

  1. to whip or beat with or as if with a cane

  2. to make or repair with cane

  1. informal to defeat: we got well caned in the match

  2. cane it slang to do something with great power, force, or speed or consume something such as alcohol in large quantities: you can do it in ten minutes if you really cane it

Origin of cane

C14: from Old French, from Latin canna, from Greek kanna, of Semitic origin; related to Arabic qanāh reed

Derived forms of cane

  • caner, noun

British Dictionary definitions for cane (2 of 2)


/ (keɪn) /

  1. dialect a female weasel

Origin of cane

C18: 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