noun (1)
can·​ton | \ ˈkan-tᵊn How to pronounce canton (audio) , -ˌtän \

Definition of canton

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a small territorial division of a country: such as
a : one of the states of the Swiss confederation
b : a division of a French arrondissement


noun (2)

Definition of canton (Entry 2 of 3)

1 obsolete : division, section
2 : the top inner quarter of a flag
3 : the dexter chief region of a heraldic field


geographical name
Can·​ton | \ ˈkan-tᵊn How to pronounce Canton (audio) \

Definition of Canton (Entry 3 of 3)

1 city in northeastern Ohio south-southeast of Akron population 73,007
2 — see guangzhou

Other Words from canton

Noun (1)

cantonal \ ˈkan-​tə-​nəl How to pronounce cantonal (audio) , kan-​ˈtä-​nᵊl How to pronounce cantonal (audio) \ adjective

First Known Use of canton

Noun (1)

1522, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1572, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for canton

Noun (1)

Middle French, from Italian cantone, from canto corner, from Latin canthus iron tire — more at cant entry 4

Noun (2)

Middle French, from Old Occitan, from cant edge, corner, from Latin canthus

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Time Traveler for canton

Time Traveler

The first known use of canton was in 1522

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Cite this Entry

“Canton.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for canton


can·​ton | \ ˈkan-tᵊn How to pronounce canton (audio) , ˈkan-ˌtän \

Kids Definition of canton

: a division of a country (as Switzerland)

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More from Merriam-Webster on canton

Nglish: Translation of canton for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of canton for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about canton

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