To be like “a bird in a gilded cage” is to live in luxury but without freedom: “Because the movie star could not go out without being recognized and pursued, she stayed in her penthouse, living like a bird in a gilded cage.”
Words nearby gilded cage
How to use gilded cage in a sentence
Mary Soames is an exception to the rule that gilded offspring endure life rather than enjoy it.Churchill’s Secret Treasures for Sale: A British PM’s Life on the Auction Block|Tom Teodorczuk|December 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
You may be wondering what work of monumental consequence is contained within these gilded pages.
Feast your eyes on the ‘top-grain leather,’ ‘original’ design, gilded pages.
But you wonder how even the sane keep from losing their minds when you step into a cell—or rather a cage—at Graterford.Here’s a Reform Even the Koch Brothers and George Soros Can Agree On|Tina Brown|November 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It is empty, the door swung open—perhaps the bird has already flown, or perhaps the cage awaits its next inhabitant.Sor Juana: Mexico’s Most Erotic Poet and Its Most Dangerous Nun|Katie Baker|November 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The faint candle-light glimmered on a ponderous gilded cornice, which had also sustained violence.Checkmate|Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Captain Lovelock got up as well; Bernard heard him knock over his little gilded chair.Confidence|Henry James
St. Ildefonso's gilded pinnacles next presented themselves on the declivity of a beautiful hill.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4|Jane Porter
So Hettie put the chicken in a cage, with some wool to cover it, and fed it several times every day, till it came to know her.
The 'cage' was simply an arrangement for 'straiter custody,' though but rarely judged necessary in the case of ladies.King Robert the Bruce|A. F. Murison
Other Idioms and Phrases with gilded cage
The encumbrances or limitations that often accompany material wealth, as in She had furs, jewelry, whatever money could buy, but was trapped in a gilded cage. This metaphoric expression indicating that riches cannot buy happiness was popularized (and possibly coined) in a song, “A Bird in a Gilded Cage” (1990; lyrics by Arthur J. Lamb, music by Harry von Tilzer), about a young girl marrying for wealth instead of love and paying for luxury with a life of regret.