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or cagy

[key-jee] /ˈkeɪ dʒi/
adjective, cagier, cagiest.
cautious, wary, or shrewd:
a cagey reply to the probing question.
Origin of cagey
1890-95, Americanism; cage + -y1
Related forms
cagily, adverb
caginess, cageyness, noun
careful, prudent, leery, chary.
open, forthright. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cagey
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He would be cagey enough to stay ignorant of any overt strife or any other skullduggery that could be laid at his door.

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
  • I expect clients to be cagey, to hold back information, and to lie.

    A Spaceship Named McGuire Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Hal is in the house now, with cagey, and Billie is there also, and has the exclusive run of one room.

  • It was wonderful how sort of patriotic and unselfish and religious and cagey he always was.

    Yellowstone Nights Herbert Quick
  • They've been drinking Blood all Morning and are feeling good and cagey.

    People You Know George Ade
British Dictionary definitions for cagey


adjective -ier, -iest
(informal) not open or frank; cautious; wary
Derived Forms
cagily, adverb
caginess, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for cagey

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cagey



Shrewd; wary; pawky: a quiet, cagy observer

[1890s+; perhaps fr the expression play a caged game, ''be careful, keep your intentions concealed,'' attested in 1890s]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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