Definition of cadge in English:



[with object]British
  • Ask for or obtain (something to which one is not strictly entitled)

    ‘he cadged fivers off old school friends’
    • ‘People started to cadge invitations to see our au pair, and across the nation we British were briefly seized by the same deeply embarrassing tropical madness.’
    • ‘So they cadged meetings with 86 luminaries, successful leaders in an eclectic array of professions.’
    • ‘It only took six days to run out of money, and then everyone got together and cadged money off relatives to continue the shoot.’
    • ‘I cadged a lift back to the station in Roger's car, which was kind of him.’
    • ‘This is a preamble to confessing that, like Jackie, I cadged a few puffs of a fat Cuban on Christmas Day.’
    • ‘Tyndrum must be one of the easiest places in Scotland to cadge a ride.’
    • ‘Owing money and at a dead-end, she decides to head to Phoenix to cadge some dough from her ex-best friend Lavinia, now an arch-conservative with two children and a husband who knows nothing of her past.’
    • ‘They get the chance to cadge a bit of his energy and charisma.’
    • ‘The latter may in fact end up in the back garden, joining one we intend to transplant from the front, and another that we've cadged from a neighbour.’
    • ‘He had cadged the production dollars by promising the producer a two-for-one deal that never came.’
    • ‘The boy used to cadge cigarettes from Taylor but they lost touch only to run into each other more than a year later when the victim was aged 15-years-old.’
    • ‘I don't remember how I got there, but I suppose I must have cadged a lift from someone.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He felt awkward and cold stood on the pavement outside the club, dressed as a woman, clutching his three pack of chocolate oranges, as one-by-one the various people he could possibly have cadged a lift from disappeared.’
    • ‘She swooped through the now-closed restaurant and cadged a glass of red wine.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But first I cadged for myself two thick and hefty wood-chopping sections of beautifully grained cypress; what a difference that makes in the firewood chopping ritual!’
    • ‘Well, for a start, I've only ever been a very occasional smoker - I cadge cigarettes off people when I'm very drunk and then always regret it the next morning when I not only wake up with a thumping hangover, but also with a mouth like an ashtray.’
    • ‘You may be able to cadge a tin of warm water for shaving.’
    • ‘He and Nolan cadged free rides on trams driven by Nolan's father.’
    scrounge, beg, borrow
    View synonyms


  • A padded wooden frame on which hooded hawks are carried to the field.

    • ‘He was not paid except for tips he could get from spectators by telling hunting stories about some of the falcons on the cadge.’
    • ‘I would carry the hooded birds on the cadge, cast them off then fold it up and put it into my vest.’
    • ‘So when falcons were carried on the cadge you could quickly see the required falcon by the colour of the eye panels and the type of feathers in its plume.’
    • ‘Five lovely barbaries were assembled on the cadge.’
    • ‘You cannot keep your hawk on the cadge for ever -- ah, nor hood her for ever!’


  • on the cadge

    • informal Looking for an opportunity to obtain something without paying for it.

      ‘they're all liars and on the cadge’
      • ‘Admittedly, Thomas was often on the cadge but he seems always to have re-paid his debts.’
      • ‘He is on the cadge again as he looks to put the final touches to his squad before next Sunday's transfer deadline.’
      • ‘Mind you there'd be the odd one or two coming along and we'd mutter - here's Mrs so & so on the cadge again.’
      • ‘In the village he introduced himself - he was on the cadge for a torque wrench.’
      • ‘The pool barman was constantly on the cadge for a tip and even appeared at our room when we were packing, cheeky git.’
      • ‘The guy on the till actually said that he came in every night on the cadge and was often given a cigarella free by the staff.’
      • ‘She moved to the side to let me in without hardly a hello, leaving me feeling like I was on the cadge for a free bourbon and some hot tea to make a change from hanging out at the library with the rest of the tramps.’
      • ‘Most punks I came into contact were actually OK, probably because most of them were always skint (I don't work, I'm a punk!) and were on the cadge for a pint.’
      • ‘Talking about butter, my music teacher at Caerwedros was always on the cadge for my butter, shop ration.’
      • ‘With that the young man set out on the cadge.’


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.