1. a stick or short staff used to assist one in walking; walking stick.
  2. a long, hollow or pithy, jointed woody stem, as that of bamboo, rattan, sugar cane, and certain palms.
  3. a plant having such a stem.
  4. split rattan woven or interlaced for chair seats, wickerwork, etc.
  5. any of several tall bamboolike grasses, especially of the genus Arundinaria, as A. gigantea (cane reed, large cane, giant cane, or southern cane) and A. tecta (small cane or switch cane), of the southern U.S.
  6. the stem of a raspberry or blackberry.
  7. sugarcane.
  8. a rod used for flogging.
  9. a slender cylinder or rod, as of sealing wax or glass.

verb (used with object), caned, can·ing.

  1. to flog with a cane.
  2. to furnish or make with cane: to cane chairs.


    1. the long jointed pithy or hollow flexible stem of the bamboo, rattan, or any similar plant
    2. any plant having such a stem
    1. strips of such stems, woven or interlaced to make wickerwork, the seats and backs of chairs, etc
    2. (as modifier)a cane chair
  1. the woody stem of a reed, young grapevine, blackberry, raspberry, or loganberry
  2. any of several grasses with long stiff stems, esp Arundinaria gigantea of the southeastern US
  3. a flexible rod with which to administer a beating as a punishment, as to schoolboys
  4. a slender rod, usually wooden and often ornamental, used for support when walking; walking stick
  5. See sugar cane
  6. a slender rod or cylinder, as of glass

verb (tr)

  1. to whip or beat with or as if with a cane
  2. to make or repair with cane
  3. informal to defeatwe got well caned in the match
  4. cane it slang to do something with great power, force, or speed or consume something such as alcohol in large quantitiesyou can do it in ten minutes if you really cane it


  1. dialect a female weasel

“to beat with a walking stick,” 1660s, from cane (n.). Related: Caned; caning.


late 14c., from Old French cane “reed, cane, spear” (13c., Modern French canne), from Latin canna “reed, cane,” from Greek kanna, perhaps from Assyrian qanu “tube, reed” (cf. Hebrew qaneh, Arabic qanah “reed”), from Sumerian gin “reed.” But Tucker finds this borrowing “needless” and proposes a native Indo-European formation from a root meaning “to bind, bend.” Sense of “walking stick” in English is 1580s.

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