Definition of squirrel cage in US English:

squirrel cage


  • 1A rotating cylindrical cage in which a small captive animal can exercise as on a treadmill.

    • ‘The animal is placed inside a big squirrel cage which revolves when the creature runs.’
    • ‘I could blame it on my stinking corporate day job, which admittedly has been keeping me scrambling around like the proverbial mouse in the squirrel cage.’
    • ‘A defining trait of the system is that it is a kind of giant squirrel cage.’
    1. 1.1 A monotonous or repetitive activity or way of life.
      ‘running madly about in a squirrel cage of activity’
      • ‘Schor talks about capitalism's ‘squirrel cage,’ the work-and-spend middle-class affliction instilled by capitalism, but in the end she doubts whether this cycle can be radically disrupted.’
      • ‘Few things draw us out of the revolving squirrel cages of our minds and out into the nerve endings of our skin better than that.’
      • ‘In her 1963 bestseller The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan wrote about ‘the problem that has no name,’ the dissatisfaction that housewives experienced as trapped in the ‘squirrel cage’ of marriage.’
    2. 1.2 A form of rotor used in small electric motors, resembling a cylindrical cage.
      • ‘The majority of squirrel cage induction motors employ an integrally cast aluminum rotor.’
      • ‘Single-layer films are most common, commercial growers often set up a system with two layers of polyethylene and inflate an airspace in between (with a small squirrel-cage fan), which provides some insulation.’
      • ‘Mere stuff - transistors, pulleys, squirrel cages, and the like - obviously cannot really experience love or redness or even feeling unsatisfied by an argument.’
      • ‘Back in my misspent youth I had the fastest car in school, a '74 Vega GT sleeper with a 350 LT1 jammed into that little compartment where the squirrel-cage four banger originally went.’
      • ‘Additionally, some Maytag dehumidifier models use ‘squirrel cage’ types of fans for blowing out the dried air, making Maytag dehumidifiers more efficient than most.’