Definition of cadge in English:

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Pronunciation: /kadʒ/


[with object] British informal
Ask for or obtain (something to which one is not strictly entitled): he cadged fivers off old school friends
More example sentences
  • At Brunton Park on Tuesday night, the cheeky talisman was taken for a ride around the pitch after cadging a lift in a sponsored car positioned in front of the main stand prior to kick-off.
  • I cadged a lift back to the station in Roger's car, which was kind of him.
  • The next morning he called a friend, told him what had happened, and cadged a lift into the city centre to sign on, the court heard.
informal bum, touch someone for, sponge
British informal scab
Scottish informal sorn on someone for
North American informal mooch
Australian/New Zealand informal bludge


A padded wooden frame on which hooded hawks are carried to the field.
Apparently an alteration of cage, perhaps confused with the dialect verb cadge 'carry about'
Example sentences
  • He was not paid except for tips he could get from spectators by telling hunting stories about some of the falcons on the cadge.
  • You cannot keep your hawk on the cadge for ever -- ah, nor hood her for ever!
  • I would carry the hooded birds on the cadge, cast them off then fold it up and put it into my vest.


on the cadge

informal Looking for an opportunity to obtain something without paying for it: they’re all liars and on the cadge
More example sentences
  • Talking about butter, my music teacher at Caerwedros was always on the cadge for my butter, shop ration.
  • In the village he introduced himself - he was on the cadge for a torque wrench.
  • Admittedly, Thomas was often on the cadge but he seems always to have re-paid his debts.



Pronunciation: /ˈkadʒə/
Example sentences
  • A letter written on February 16th, 1953, to the ailing Welsh poet, who in fact died later that year, offering what small mead of help he could, draws back the veil upon an aspect of the Cymric cadger hitherto well hidden.
  • A famous cadger, he had a kamikaze predilection for turning on benefactors and friends.
  • For ages the trunk road from east to west passed close by, the old hotel at Kingswell ‘Cadgers’ Knowe, marks the camping ground of cadgers and humbler folks.


Early 17th century (in the dialect sense 'carry about'): back-formation from the noun cadger, which dates from the late 15th century, denoting (in northern English and Scots) an itinerant dealer, whence the verb sense 'hawk, peddle', giving rise to the current verb senses from the early 19th century.

  • The first recorded use of cadge was the English dialect sense ‘to carry about’. This was formed from the noun cadger, which had existed since the late 15th century and meant, in northern English and Scots, ‘a pedlar or dealer who travelled between town and country’. From this developed the verb sense ‘to hawk or peddle’ and eventually the modern sense, ‘to ask for something that you are not strictly entitled to’. Codger, meaning an elderly man, is probably a variant of cadger.

Words that rhyme with cadge

badge, hajj, Madge

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cadge

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