having corners (usually used in combination): a six-cornered room.
having a given number of positions; sided (usually used in combination): a four-cornered debate.
forced into an awkward, embarrassing, or inescapable position: a cornered debater; a cornered fox.

Origin of cornered

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at corner, -ed3
Related formsun·cor·nered, adjective




the place at which two converging lines or surfaces meet.
the space between two converging lines or surfaces near their intersection; angle: a chair in the corner of the room.
a projecting angle, especially of a rectangular figure or object: He bumped into the corner of the table.
the point where two streets meet: the corner of Market and Main Streets.
an end; margin; edge.
any narrow, secluded, or secret place.
an awkward or embarrassing position, especially one from which escape is impossible.
Finance. a monopolizing or a monopoly of the available supply of a stock or commodity to a point permitting control of price (applied only when monopoly price is exacted).
region; part; quarter: from every corner of the empire.
  1. the point of intersection of the section lines of a land survey, often marked by a monument or some object, as a pipe that is set or driven into the ground.Compare section(def 5).
  2. a stake, tree, or rock marking the intersection of property lines.
a piece to protect the corner of anything.
  1. any point on the line forming the left or right boundary of home plate: a pitch on the corner.
  2. the area formed by the intersection of the foul line and the outfield fence.
  1. the immediate area formed by any of the four angles in the ring.
  2. one of the two assigned corners where a boxer rests between rounds and behind which the handlers sit during a fight.
Soccer. corner kick.


situated on or at a corner where two streets meet: a corner drugstore.
made to fit or be used in a corner: a corner cabinet.

verb (used with object)

to furnish with corners.
to place in or drive into a corner.
to force into an awkward or difficult position or one from which escape is impossible: He finally cornered the thief.
to gain control of (a stock, commodity, etc.).

verb (used without object)

to meet in or be situated on or at a corner.
to form a corner in a stock or commodity.
(of an automobile) to turn, especially at a speed relatively high for the angle of the turn involved.

Origin of corner

1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French, equivalent to Old French corne corner, horn (< Latin cornū horn; cf. cornu) + -er -er2

Synonyms for corner Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for cornered


Examples from the Web for cornered

Contemporary Examples of cornered

Historical Examples of cornered

  • At Thirty-second Street he ran into Burman, with whom he had all but cornered wheat.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Holding his club prepared to strike, he drew in on his cornered quarry.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • There in his stateroom, cornered, he received me with a grim reluctance.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • Then he cornered the captain behind the Bangs barn and spoke with conviction.

    Cy Whittaker's Place

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Even rats when cornered will turn at bay and bare their teeth for combat.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for cornered



the Corner informal an area in central Australia, at the junction of the borders of Queensland and South Australia



the place, position, or angle formed by the meeting of two converging lines or surfaces
a projecting angle of a solid object or figure
the place where two streets meet
any small, secluded, secret, or private place
a dangerous or awkward position, esp from which escape is difficulta tight corner
any part, region or place, esp a remote place
something used to protect or mark a corner, as of the hard cover of a book
commerce a monopoly over the supply of a commodity so that its market price can be controlled
soccer hockey a free kick or shot from the corner of the field, taken against a defending team when the ball goes out of play over their goal line after last touching one of their players
either of two opposite angles of a boxing ring in which the opponents take their rests
mountaineering a junction between two rock faces forming an angle of between 60° and 120°US name: dihedral
cut corners to do something in the easiest and shortest way, esp at the expense of high standards
round the corner or just round the corner close at hand
turn the corner to pass the critical point (in an illness, etc)
(modifier) located on a cornera corner shop
(modifier) suitable or designed for a cornera corner table
logic either of a pair of symbols used in the same way as ordinary quotation marks to indicate quasi quotationSee quasi-quotation


(tr) to manoeuvre (a person or animal) into a position from which escape is difficult or impossiblefinally they cornered the fox
(tr) to furnish or provide with corners
(tr) to place in or move into a corner
  1. to acquire enough of (a commodity) to attain control of the market
  2. Also: engrossto attain control of (a market) in such a mannerCompare forestall (def. 3)
(intr) (of vehicles, etc) to turn a corner
(intr) US to be situated on a corner
(intr) (in soccer, etc) to take a corner

Word Origin for corner

C13: from Old French corniere, from Latin cornū point, extremity, horn
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 cornered



late 13c., from Anglo-French cornere (Old French corniere), from Old French corne "horn, corner," from Vulgar Latin *corna, from Latin cornua, plural of cornu "projecting point, end, horn" (see horn (n.)). Replaced Old English hyrne. As an adjective, from 1530s.



late 14c., "to furnish with corners," from corner (n.). Meaning "to turn a corner," as in a race, is 1860s; meaning "drive (someone) into a corner" is American English from 1824. Commercial sense is from 1836. Related: Cornered; cornering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with cornered


In addition to the idiom beginning with corner

  • corner the market

also see:

  • around the corner
  • cut corners
  • four corners of the earth
  • in a tight corner
  • out of the corner of one's eye
  • paint oneself into a corner
  • turn the corner
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.