Definition of cane in English:


Line breaks: cane
Pronunciation: /keɪn


  • 1The hollow jointed stem of a tall grass, especially bamboo or sugar cane, or the stem of a slender palm such as rattan.
    More example sentences
    • They brought the eggs back to Constantinople in hollow canes.
    • Stam's choice would be this black bamboo whose arching canes can have the gleam of polished ebony.
    • Now Alex observed that the third leg was much skinnier than the other two, like a tree branch or a cane.
  • 1.1Any plant that produces canes.
    More example sentences
    • Plant and prune vines, fruit trees, bushes and canes.
    • Bamboos and other canes often have edible seeds.
    • The actual genetic relationships among the native canes and the extent to which they contributed to the commercial hybrid germplasm has been the subject of speculation over the years.
  • 1.2 [mass noun] Stems of bamboo, rattan, or wicker used as a material for making furniture or baskets: [as modifier]: a cane coffee table
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    • Every morning he heads out with a flute and two cane baskets flung across his shoulder on a bamboo pole.
    • On the ground floor of the venue, an eye-catching collection of cane furniture in a variety of shapes and styles, grabs the attention of visitors.
    • The business originally sold pottery, cane furniture and giftware at premises further down the road and was opened as a joint venture between Mrs Noon and her late husband Ronald.
  • 1.3 short for sugar cane.
    More example sentences
    • Included in yesterday's sugar package was a $50,000 re-establishment fee for cane harvesters.
    • But the funding announcements Mr Barton is expected to make during a visit to the region, do promise to sweeten the mood of cane farmers.
    • Rum is made by fermenting either cane juice or molasses mixed with water, and then distilling the resulting low-alcohol wine.
  • 1.4A flexible woody stem of the raspberry plant or any of its relatives: raspberry canes
    More example sentences
    • Cut out all the old fruiting canes from raspberries, loganberries and blackberries and tie in the new shoots.
    • This disease reduces raspberry yields by wilting, stunting, and eventually killing the fruiting cane or the entire plant.
    • Prune the flowering side shoots to two to three buds above the structural canes during the dormant season.
  • 2A length of cane or a slender stick, especially one used as a support for plants, a walking stick, or an instrument of punishment: tie the shoot to a cane if vertical growth is required
    More example sentences
    • Similarly, canes or walking sticks are often coated with Teflon, so that they will not slip on hard, smooth surfaces.
    • My son is off his crutches now but still walks with a cane for support and is always in pain by the end of the day.
    • Go for a hike in the Alps and you'll notice a curious thing: Euros love their walking canes.
    walking stick, stick, staff; alpenstock, malacca, blackthorn, ashplant, rattan; crook; Australian/New Zealand waddy
    historical ferule
    stick, stake, rod, upright, pole, beanpolestick, rod, birch
    North American informal paddle
    historical ferule
  • 2.1 (the cane) A form of corporal punishment used in certain schools, involving beating with a cane: wrong answers were rewarded by the cane
    More example sentences
    • The ultimate sanction of the cane still existed but was rarely applied.
    • In my day discipline was meted out with either the cane or a strap across the backside.
    • I'm very pleased to say I missed out on the days of school corporal punishment and thankfully was never exposed to the cane or other similar infamous tools of torture.


[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Beat with a cane as a punishment: Matthew was caned for bullying by the headmaster
    More example sentences
    • I remember anticipating the possible punishment of being caned for writing about ‘an enemy’ - a Western Christian woman - and later being admonished by mum for provoking the authorities.
    • Being pregnant, I couldn't be caned, lashed or put in the stocks.
    • But my wails fell on deaf ears as she continued caning me.
    beat, strike, hit, flog, thrash, lash, birch, whip, horsewhip, strap, leather, flagellate, scourge; North American bullwhip
    informal tan someone's hide, give someone a hiding, take a strap to, larrup
    North American informal whale
    rare yerk, quirt
  • 1.1British informal Defeat heavily or punish severely: they have caned Essex and Durham in the Championship
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    • The 'Canes caned the Crusaders 37-20 in a superb victory.
    • They were caned 60 to 7 by the slick 2002 Auckland side.
    • Curiously, I had a dream last night that Latham absolutely caned Howard.
  • 2British informal Take (drink or drugs) in large quantities: the others were probably out caning it in some bar
    More example sentences
    • During some of the more mellow bits (i.e. before we really started caning it) the bloke at the front drifted back and had a chat.
    • I'm not so bad now but, back then, I was caning it big time.
    • But I look at someone like Carl Cox, who's almost 40 and still caning it and I wonder how much longer he'll be able to keep it up.



More example sentences
  • How am I going meet a responsible, nurturing woman, who isn't a caner?
  • Only problem is that I just had a spliff with my raging caner of a housemate, & it's killer stuff.
  • This work was almost certainly subcontracted and the stamp was the caner's method of recording output.


late Middle English: from Old French, via Latin from Greek kanna, kannē, of Semitic origin.

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