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be (like) a bird in a gilded cage

To live a life of wealth and luxury but to be without true freedom, happiness, or contentment. She married her husband because of his fortune, and now she is a bird in a gilded cage, living her lonely life inside their empty mansion with a man she does not love. John forsook his friends and family in the pursuit of his riches, but with no friends or loved ones, he is now like a bird in a gilded cage.
See also: bird, cage, gild

bear cage

A police station. Likely related to highway patrol officers being called "bear," a possible reference to Smokey the Bear (a cartoon character who wears a hat similar to those sometimes worn by the highway patrol). Well, I had to go down to the bear cage this morning because it seems that my son got arrested last night on his way home.
See also: bear, cage

cage (someone or something) in

To trap or enclose one in a particular space or area. We're getting new floors put in downstairs, so we're all caged in upstairs right now. Be sure to close the gate and cage the dog in the back yard.
See also: cage

cage (someone or something) up (in something)

To trap or enclose one in a particular space or area. Be sure to close the gate and cage the dog up in the back yard.
See also: cage, up

cage of anger

A state of intense anger or rage that inhibits one's ability to forgive others or move on with one's life. Tom has been trapped in a cage of anger ever since his wife and child were killed, lashing out at everyone and everything around him. I know what she did was horrible, but you can't stay in this cage of anger your whole life.
See also: anger, cage, of

gilded cage

A life of wealth and luxury but without true freedom, happiness, or contentment. She married her husband because of his fortune, but her lonely life inside their mansion with a man she did not love quickly became a gilded cage.
See also: cage, gild

rattle (one's) cage

To purposefully anger, upset, or unnerve one, especially to affect their performance or undermine their credibility. He makes a point of taunting his opponents before each match in order to rattle their cage. The audience member asked a number of embarrassing questions about her past in an obvious attempt to rattle her cage.
See also: cage, rattle
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cage someone or something in

 
1. Lit. to enclose someone or something in a cage. We caged the monkey in, but it threw a fit. We are going to have to cage in the dogs.
2. Fig. to confine someone or something. Please don't cage me in this tiny room! The health authorities virtually caged in the quarantined population until they could all be tested.
See also: cage

cage someone or something up (in something)

to enclose or confine someone or something in something or someplace. They caged the lions up in strong containers for the trip across country. How long did it take to cage up the lions securely?
See also: cage, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

gilded cage

The encumbrances or limitations that often accompany material wealth, as in She had furs, jewelry, whatever money could buy, but was trapped in a gilded cage. This metaphoric expression indicating that riches cannot buy happiness was popularized (and possibly coined) in a song, "A Bird in a Gilded Cage" (1990; lyrics by Arthur J. Lamb, music by Harry von Tilzer), about a young girl marrying for wealth instead of love and paying for luxury with a life of regret.
See also: cage, gild
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

rattle someone's cage

If you rattle someone's cage, you do or say something that upsets or annoys them. One thing I've learnt as an editor is that you can't create a truly superb magazine without rattling someone's cage. I don't rattle their cages and they don't rattle mine.
See also: cage, rattle
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

rattle someone's cage

make someone feel angry or annoyed, usually deliberately. informal
A humorous comparison is implied between the person annoyed in this way and a dangerous animal taunted by spectators outside its cage.
See also: cage, rattle
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌrattle somebody’s ˈcage

(informal) annoy somebody: Who’s rattled his cage? OPPOSITE: smooth (somebody’s) ruffled feathers
See also: cage, rattle
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

bear cage

n. a police station. (Citizens band radio.) Have you ever been in a country bear cage?
See also: bear, cage

the cage of anger

n. a prison. (Streets.) The judge put JoJo into the cage of anger for a three-year stretch.
See also: anger, cage, of
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Donny and Bob occupy one of the dehumanizing units in these complexes, and their circular litany of endless desperatio n gives expression to a predicament reminiscent of Samuel Beckett's novel The Unnamable, living "like a caged beast born of caged beasts born of caged beasts born of caged beasts born in a cage and dead in a cage, born and then dead, born in a cage and then dead in a cage." The fact that, a few decades later, their modernist prison cell, intended for low-cost mass production, segues smoothly into the pages of high-end shelter magazines makes the irony that much more diabolical.
Additionally, depending on the exposure of the caged leaf tissue to the sun, the leaf temperature was increased by 0.0 to 3.5 [degrees] C.
The increase in puhlic opposition to caged hens has caused a growing number of producers to turn to cage-free systems.
After injecting flies with a dose of the caged ATE the researchers shined millisecond pulses of ultraviolet light on the insects.
``Consumers have a crucial role to play in persuading supermarkets and caterers not to sell eggs from caged systems.
Here the caged stone is simply a uniform external layer, but its monolithic appearance will be eventually transformed by vegetation implanted within it.
"Hens like to roam around and peck in the dirt but a caged bird can't even flap their wings.