1

cant

play
adjective \ˈkant\

Definition of cant

dialectal, England

  1. :  lively, lusty

Origin and Etymology of cant

Middle English, probably from Middle Low German *kant


First Known Use: 14th century


2

cant

verb

Definition of cant

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to give a cant or oblique edge to :  bevel <cant off a corner>

  3. 2 :  to set at an angle :  tilt <cant a cask>

  4. 3 chiefly British :  to throw with a lurch

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to pitch to one side :  lean <The deck of the ship was canting.>

  7. 2 :  slope <The roof canted gently.>

Origin and Etymology of cant

3cant


First Known Use: circa 1543


3

cant

noun

Definition of cant

  1. 1 obsolete :  corner, niche

  2. 2 :  an external angle (as of a building)

  3. 3 :  a log with one or more squared sides

  4. 4a :  an oblique or slanting surface <the cant of a riverbank>b :  inclination, slope <the cant of a gun barrel>

Origin and Etymology of cant

Middle English cant side, probably from Middle Dutch or Medieval French dialect; Middle Dutch, edge, corner, from Medieval 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


First Known Use: 1603


4

cant

adjective

Definition of cant

  1. 1 :  having canted corners or sides <a cant molding>

  2. 2 :  inclined 2 <a cant buttress>

1663

First Known Use of cant

1663


5

cant

verb

Definition of cant

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to talk or beg in a whining or singsong manner <bade me cant and whine in another place — Samuel Johnson>

  3. 2 :  to speak in cant or jargon <The thieves were canting among themselves.>

  4. 3 :  to talk hypocritically <canted about brotherly love>

Origin and Etymology of cant

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


First Known Use: 1567


6

cant

noun

Definition of cant

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

  2. 2a :  the private language of the underworld <the cant of thieves>b obsolete :  the phraseology peculiar to a religious class or sectc :  jargon 2

  3. 3 :  a set or stock phrase

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

1640

First Known Use of cant

1640

Other Language Terms


Cant

abbreviation

Definition of Cant

  1. 1 Canticle of Canticles

  2. 2 Cantonese


Medical Dictionary

cant

play
noun \ˈkant\

Medical Definition of cant

  1. :  an oblique or slanting surface



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to handle or deal with in a skillful way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • m-ws-new-words-quiz
  • Which word means "inability to recognize faces"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ