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squirrel cage

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noun
  1. a cage containing a cylindrical framework that is rotated by a squirrel or other small animal running inside of it.
  2. any situation that seems to be endlessly without goal or achievement.
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Origin of squirrel cage

First recorded in 1815–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for squirrel cage

Historical Examples

  • I thought it was a good deal like sleeping in a squirrel-cage.

    Track's End

    Hayden Carruth

  • And you could call the place the Squirrel-Cage, suggested Bob.

    The Turner Twins

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • I had given up sleeping in the house, with its squirrel-cage rooms, preferring the soft prairie hay of the barn.

    Track's End

    Hayden Carruth

  • There was great consultation all that day, which ended in Tom Stubbs bringing a squirrel-cage.

  • The squirrel-cage also prevents “hunting” which is one of the common troubles experienced with synchronous motors or converters.


British Dictionary definitions for squirrel cage

squirrel cage

noun
  1. a cage consisting of a cylindrical framework that is made to rotate by a small animal running inside the framework
  2. a repetitive purposeless task, way of life, etc
  3. Also called: squirrel-cage motor electrical engineering the rotor of an induction motor with a cylindrical winding having copper bars around the periphery parallel to the axis
  4. an electric fan with many long narrow blades arranged in parallel so as to form a cylinder about an axis around which they spin
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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