adjective (1)
\ˈkant \

Definition of cant 

(Entry 1 of 7)

dialectal, England


verb (1)
canted; canting; cants

Definition of cant (Entry 2 of 7)

transitive verb

1 : to give a cant or oblique edge to : bevel cant off a corner

2 : to set at an angle : tilt cant a cask

3 chiefly British : to throw with a lurch

intransitive verb

1 : to pitch to one side : lean The deck of the ship was canting.

2 : slope The roof canted gently.


noun (1)

Definition of cant (Entry 3 of 7)

1 obsolete : corner, niche

2 : an external angle (as of a building)

3 : a log with one or more squared sides

4a : an oblique or slanting surface the cant of a riverbank

b : inclination, slope the cant of a gun barrel


adjective (2)

Definition of cant (Entry 4 of 7)

1 : having canted corners or sides a cant molding

2 : inclined sense 2 a cant buttress


verb (2)
canted; canting; cants

Definition of cant (Entry 5 of 7)

intransitive verb

1 : to talk or beg in a whining or singsong manner bade me cant and whine in another place— Samuel Johnson

2 : to speak in cant or jargon The thieves were canting among themselves.

3 : to talk hypocritically canted about brotherly love


noun (2)

Definition of cant (Entry 6 of 7)

1 : affected singsong or whining speech a beggar's cant

2a : the private language of the underworld the cant of thieves

b obsolete : the phraseology peculiar to a religious class or sect

c : jargon sense 1

3 : a set or stock phrase

4 : the expression or repetition of conventional or trite opinions or sentiments especially : the insincere use of pious words the cant of hypocrites

Definition of Cant (Entry 7 of 7)

First Known Use of cant

Adjective (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (1)

circa 1543, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (1)

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (2)

1663, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1640, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cant

Adjective (1)

Middle English, probably from Middle Low German *kant

Verb (1)

cant entry 3

Noun (1)

Middle English cant side, probably from Middle Dutch or Middle French dialect; Middle Dutch, edge, corner, from Middle French dialect (Picard), from Latin canthus, cantus iron tire, perhaps of Celt origin; akin to Welsh cant rim; perhaps akin to Greek kanthos corner of the eye

Verb (2)

perhaps from Middle French dialect (Norman-Picard) canter to tell, literally, to sing, from Latin cantare — more at chant

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Dictionary Entries near cant

Canso, Strait of







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Time Traveler for cant

The first known use of cant was in the 14th century

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\ˈkant \

Medical Definition of cant 

: an oblique or slanting surface

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