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 riverbankb :  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 thievesb obsolete :  the phraseology peculiar to a religious class or sectc :  jargon 1

  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).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a lively discussion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!