Definition of cane in US English:



  • 1The hollow jointed stem of a tall grass, especially bamboo or sugar cane, or the stem of a slender palm such as rattan.

    • ‘It involved cutting canes, watering, and pulling out weeds.’
    • ‘Now Alex observed that the third leg was much skinnier than the other two, like a tree branch or a cane.’
    • ‘A scattering of alliums, Purple Sensation, nicely set off the yellow of the bamboo canes and the palm flowers.’
    • ‘An established plant can generate vegetation - canes, foliage, and flowers - weighing several hundred pounds.’
    • ‘Stam's choice would be this black bamboo whose arching canes can have the gleam of polished ebony.’
    • ‘In winter, the stems, or canes, turn from green to red, which helps protect them from ultraviolet rays and oxidation.’
    • ‘They brought the eggs back to Constantinople in hollow canes.’
    1. 1.1 Any plant that produces canes.
      • ‘Plant and prune vines, fruit trees, bushes and canes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Bamboos and other canes often have edible seeds.’
    2. 1.2 Stems of bamboo, rattan, or wicker used as a material for making furniture or baskets.
      as modifier ‘a cane coffee table’
      • ‘On my way back I stop at a village that has several shops with cane products.’
      • ‘There were a few huge cane clocks and lamps too at the stall.’
      • ‘You can also do a lot with a group of small baskets, metal or cane, hanging from a sturdy hook in the ceiling.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Jute bags look stylish enough, when used as carry bags fitted with bamboo or cane handles.’
      • ‘Alternatively, construct the chair's carcass like this but weave the seat from strips of hessian or wicker-type cane.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many Joburgers will remember the site as The Cane Shop, where cane blinds, furniture and baskets were once made.’
      • ‘These materials, as well as wicker and cane, have low moisture absorption capability.’
      • ‘Every morning he heads out with a flute and two cane baskets flung across his shoulder on a bamboo pole.’
      • ‘The same soothing mix of wood, cane, cotton, and thatch prevails in the resort's beachfront courtyard.’
      • ‘And the plight of cane producers in the South is getting worse.’
      • ‘The surroundings are ‘homely’ with padded cane furniture, raffia placemats and red linen napkins.’
      • ‘Comfy upholstered seats with cane backs accompany round copper-topped tables.’
      • ‘These circular basket boats are like large, unsinkable, cane saucers covered in buffalo-hide or plastic.’
      • ‘Mr Clarke said five cane suites were taken, two of which are dark brown, two honey-coloured and one pale.’
      • ‘I know of only two vehicles that could be purchased ex works with a wicker or woven cane body.’
      • ‘The waste generated in the making of cane and bamboo products is used for production of handmade paper and decorative tiles for eco-friendly living.’
      • ‘The artifacts made of wood, bamboo and cane are claimed to be peculiar to the North Eastern States.’
      • ‘It is a hut supported by poles, with walls of palm fronds, cane, clay, or boards.’
    3. 1.3
      short for sugar cane
      • ‘The Bundaberg district's cane farmers are eagerly awaiting news of the sugar rescue package.’
      • ‘Rum is made by fermenting either cane juice or molasses mixed with water, and then distilling the resulting low-alcohol wine.’
      • ‘The first occurred while cutting cane a couple of years ago, he said.’
      • ‘NSW cane farmers must think about diversifying to other crops.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The minister gave the commitment that the Government will not reduce the price of cane and other support measures to farmers.’
      • ‘NSW Sugar will pioneer harvesting techniques that collect the whole cane crop, then separate it at the mill.’
      • ‘Resentment focused on the fact that many farmers had been driven to sell wheat early at a lower price to finance the planting and irrigation of their next cane crop.’
      • ‘Ahmed has recommended large-scale use of bio-ethanol produced as a by-product of sugar in cane mills.’
      • ‘The region has about 120 cane farmers, all of whom are contemplating their future without the Moreton Mill.’
      • ‘This season it had been unusually cold, but the cane crop was rich.’
      • ‘A football trophy was the only item that cane farmer Graham Jensen could salvage from the ashes of his home which was destroyed by fire on Friday night.’
      • ‘Included in yesterday's sugar package was a $50,000 re-establishment fee for cane harvesters.’
    4. 1.4 A flexible woody stem of the raspberry plant or any of its relatives.
      • ‘Anthracnose can cause symptoms on canes, leaves, fruit, and stems of berry clusters.’
      • ‘The bud union is the ‘knob’ at the base of the cane from which all new canes grow.’
      • ‘Also, when the old fruiting canes are removed after harvest, some of the weak suckers can be removed by hand.’
      • ‘The berries are borne on year old canes, and on two and three year old spurs.’
      • ‘This disease reduces raspberry yields by wilting, stunting, and eventually killing the fruiting cane or the entire plant.’
      • ‘When the canes reach the top of a stand-alone post, they will cascade and supply an umbrella of blooms.’
      • ‘On established plants, prune dead, damaged, and overcrowded canes to the base.’
      • ‘After your roses become dormant in the fall, protect them from severe freezing weather by piling a mound of soil over the canes.’
      • ‘Most of this class are large shrubs with rather lax canes that can be trained as pillar or climbing roses.’
      • ‘Burying the rose is best accomplished by first hand-stripping leaves, then bundling the major canes loosely together.’
      • ‘Cane galls occur almost exclusively on fruiting canes and usually appear in late spring or early summer.’
      • ‘After the spring wave of bloom is finished, climbers may have older canes shortened or removed.’
      • ‘Cut out all the old fruiting canes from raspberries, loganberries and blackberries and tie in the new shoots.’
      • ‘The further back you cut hybrid teas, the stronger and thicker the new canes will be.’
      • ‘They'll soon die anyway, and removing them admits more sunshine to the new canes growing from the base of the plant.’
      • ‘As in red raspberries, surplus blackberry canes should be thinned out in the spring.’
      • ‘Prune the flowering side shoots to two to three buds above the structural canes during the dormant season.’
      • ‘It is seldom wise to leave more than six canes on any rose plant.’
      • ‘Brambles send up so many new canes each year that they can become overcrowded, so you must also cut some of the new canes to the ground.’
      • ‘The farther the fruiting canes are from the main stem, the less likely they are to bear fruit.’
      stem, shoot, trunk, stock, bine, bent, haulm, straw, reed
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  • 2A length of cane or a slender stick, especially one used as a support for plants, as a walking stick, or as an instrument of punishment.

    • ‘Tie all the main shoots firmly to supporting wires or canes.’
    • ‘Thieves are also using bamboo canes with magnets on the end to fish keys through letter boxes.’
    • ‘To protect shrubs, erect a windbreak by inserting stout canes round the plant and then fixing several layers of hessian or netting to them.’
    • ‘His brother has been sentenced to six years and four lashes with a rattan cane.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Outside the ancient settlement, with its alleyways and arches reinforced with bamboo canes, is the early 13 th-century romanesque church of St Esteve.’
    • ‘The court sentenced him to four strokes on his bare buttocks with a rattan cane.’
    • ‘She poked along with her cane, scanning the grass for chipmunk holes.’
    • ‘Feed tomatoes regularly, pinching out any side shoots that form and tying the main stems to canes for support.’
    • ‘Similarly, canes or walking sticks are often coated with Teflon, so that they will not slip on hard, smooth surfaces.’
    • ‘Next an elderly woman supporting herself with a cane ventured over.’
    • ‘Go for a hike in the Alps and you'll notice a curious thing: Euros love their walking canes.’
    • ‘A walking cane for the blind developed by Dean Waters and research associates uses sonar to detect obstacles.’
    • ‘Hoops and canes had proved ineffective and a strong but natural support was urgently required to keep the new growth of this plant upright.’
    • ‘A cane that's too tall will make you work harder to pick it up and move it.’
    • ‘I always use a few bamboo canes to mark the planting position so I don't damage the shallow - planted bulbs.’
    • ‘Tie short pieces of old bamboo canes together to make a nest for ladybirds and place them next to the plants that are regularly attacked by aphids, such as roses.’
    • ‘Then they noticed his cane, a long white stick that he folded up as he sat down.’
    • ‘Chillies need some support; a cane by their side will be plenty for most.’
    • ‘In flower-beds, stake tall perennials such as delphiniums and hollyhocks by using canes for individual flower stems or by pushing twiggy prunings from shrubs and trees into or around the clump.’
    walking stick, stick, staff
    stick, stake, rod, upright, pole, beanpole
    stick, rod, birch
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    1. 2.1 A form of corporal punishment used in certain schools, involving beating with a cane.
      ‘wrong answers were rewarded by the cane’
      • ‘In my day discipline was meted out with either the cane or a strap across the backside.’
      • ‘Persistent offenders who were sent out of class three times did face a stiffer punishment: either the cane or else the shame of being slippered in front of the whole class.’
      • ‘Violating the hijab code was made punishable by 100 lashes of the cane and six months imprisonment.’
      • ‘The ultimate sanction of the cane still existed but was rarely applied.’
      • ‘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.’
      lash, scourge, thong, strap, belt
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[with object]
  • Beat with a cane as a punishment.

    • ‘An angry deputy head said striking a prefect was a terrible thing and that if corporal punishment hadn't been banned, our victim would have been caned.’
    • ‘My mum would use to cane me in order to force me to take vegetables but no matter how hard I try, I'll always throw them up.’
    • ‘Errant students were caned, that was part of school life and the parents did not object.’
    • ‘Another 11 people are due to be caned at a later date.’
    • ‘Monday morning assemblies had the usual climax, after the hymns and the sports reports, the farewells and welcomes for staff: the list of victims who would be caned by the mortar-boarded and black-gowned Headmaster.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was as defiant as he was in school when he was caned because he had refused to salute visiting white military officers.’
    • ‘But in a situation where you are raised up being told that whipping and caning people is acceptable, do you not wonder why he is violent?’
    • ‘Which would be a funny tag to give to the principal who caned me so many times, but then ‘political correctness’ wasn't a term then.’
    • ‘Depending on the severity of these, some of the offenders would be caned.’
    • ‘But my wails fell on deaf ears as she continued caning me.’
    • ‘Being pregnant, I couldn't be caned, lashed or put in the stocks.’
    • ‘The child with the board at the end of the day was caned!’
    • ‘I remember being caned on the hand for misbehaving occasionally and as students we addressed both the teachers and the Imam as ‘Uncle’.’
    • ‘As someone who was caned at school for gross incompetence in woodwork, I could but stand in wonder at the two wood-carved ceilings on display, representing stylised interpretations of the sun.’
    • ‘I was beaten only three times - once for reading Biggles in first year Latin class, once for cheekiness, and once for pillow-fighting, and frankly, I would have been ashamed to have left school without having been caned.’
    • ‘I remember being caned for talking after hours when the lights were out.’
    • ‘Then I was caned one last time, whipped one last time, soaked one last time, and spiked one last time.’
    • ‘Barbara has memories of mischievous boys flicking bits of ink-soaked blotting paper at each other and shoving books down their trousers when they were to be caned.’
    beat, strike, hit, flog, thrash, lash, birch, whip, horsewhip, strap, leather, flagellate, scourge
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Late Middle English: from Old French, via Latin from Greek kanna, kannē, of Semitic origin.