from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To beg or get by begging.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A circular frame on which cadgers carry hawks for sale.
  • v. To beg.
  • v. To obtain something by wit or guile; to convince someone to do something they might not normally do.
  • v. To carry hawks and other birds of prey.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A circular frame on which cadgers carry hawks for sale.
  • v. To carry, as a burden.
  • v. To hawk or peddle, as fish, poultry, etc.
  • v. To intrude or live on another meanly; to beg.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bind; tie.
  • To bind the edge of.
  • To stuff or fill: as, to cadge the belly.
  • To stuff one's self at another's expense; sponge or live upon another.
  • To carry, especially to carry for sale; hawk.
  • To obtain by begging.
  • To hawk goods, as in a cart or otherwise.
  • To go about begging.
  • n. A round piece of wood on which hawks were carried when exposed for sale.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. obtain or seek to obtain by cadging or wheedling
  • v. ask for and get free; be a parasite


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Perhaps back-formation from obsolete cadger, peddler, from Middle English cadgear.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Possibly a corruption of cage, from Old French.


  • Billi walked sedately and by themselves; grooms of the kennels led greyhounds on the leash; behind them, almost bursting with importance, came a Persian deftly carrying the cadge, which is a kind of padded stand upon which, hooded and fastened by leashes, the favourite birds are carried to and fro.

    The Hawk of Egypt

  • From not being supplied with these necessaries, I was constantly having to "cadge"

    Canada for Gentlemen

  • Coals he could get from Hall, also occasional half-crowns; these sufficed to pay for his breakfast; a dinner he could generally "cadge," and if he failed to do so, he had long ago learnt to go without.

    Mike Fletcher A Novel

  • They preferred to go out generally without the falconer, a Dutchman, who had been taken into the service of Sir Nicholas thirty years before when things had been more prosperous; it was less embarrassing so; but they would have a lad to carry the "cadge," and a pony following them to carry the game.

    By What Authority?

  • He asked Gordon Brown for a rock solid assurance that whatever he did to clear the nations debts he would never ever meet a Russian millionaire to to "cadge" the money.

    BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition

  • The first act has some plot -- Margaret gets fired and then bullies Mike into inviting her to his birthday party so she can try and cadge a job from one of his friends.

    Michael Giltz: Theater: Not So "Good People," Fine "Timon," Lovely "Nightingale" and No KO for "Beautiful Burnout"

  • This mammoth, multiyear project involved reinstalling its enormous collection across 26 galleries in an institution that, because it is barred by law from building out, had to cadge what extra space it could from within the existing envelope.

    Opening the Book of American Art

  • To cadge an opening from NPR's 'This American Life,' the theme of this morning's top stories is bipartisanship -- whether the two parties like it or not.

    Wonkbook: Bipartisanship -- whether the two parties like it or not

  • Who knows why these differences turn up in the data, but no law of nature says every cultural subgroup must be equal in its determination to cadge every nickel of advantage in every transaction.

    Racism Is Everywhere . . . Statistically

  • I remember him as part of a group on semi-permanent watch for opportunities to cadge cigarettes, asking for a pull of yours, or a drag, or the butt.

    The Empty Family


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  • (verb/noun) - A whining beggar is a cadger. "On the cadge" is applied to the regular "rounders" who wander from town to town telling in each place a pitiful story of distress. In Scotland a cadger is an itinerant peddler of fish.

    --James Maitland's American Slang Dictionary, 1891

    January 17, 2018

  • I hate when badgers do that.

    February 2, 2010

  • From Christopher Isherwood:

    The only fault I find with badgers

    Is that they’re such appalling cadgers.

    If you ask one out to dine

    He'll want a dozen of your wine

    To take home. If he likes your prints

    He'll bother you with clumsy hints:

    "I say, who's that picture by?...

    It's my birthday next July..."

    Once, one asked me for my car -

    This was going rather far -

    So I said, "Wouldn't you rather

    Take this ring? It belonged to my father;

    It's set with diamonds." Calm and bland,

    He thanked me and held out his hand.

    I had an apoplectic fit:

    The Badger walked away with it.

    January 31, 2010

  • I guess mooch would be the closest synonym, because it also means "beg" and "get by begging".

    August 21, 2008

  • Attempting to obtain something without paying for it.

    February 7, 2007