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cant

1
[ kant ]
/ kænt /
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noun

insincere, especially conventional expressions of enthusiasm for high ideals, goodness, or piety.
the private language of the underworld.
the phraseology peculiar to a particular class, party, profession, etc.: the cant of the fashion industry.
whining or singsong speech, especially of beggars.

verb (used without object)

to talk hypocritically.
to speak in the whining or singsong tone of a beggar; beg.

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Origin of cant

1
First recorded in 1495–1505; from Latin base cant- in cantus “song,” canticus “singsong,” etc., whence Old English cantere “singer,” cantic “song”; see chant
cant·ing·ly, adverb
1. cant , can't2. cant , jargon, slang

Definition for cant (2 of 5)

Origin of cant

2
First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English: “side, part, border,” from Anglo-French cant, Old French chant, from an unrecorded Romance cantu(m) with the related senses “rim, border” and “angle corner,” probably from Celtic; compare Latin cant(h)us “tire, iron tire” (from Celtic kantos ), Welsh cant “periphery, rim, felloe” cf. canteen, cantle, canton
cantic, adjective

Definition for cant (3 of 5)

cant3
[ kahnt ]
/ kɑnt /

adjective Scot. and North England.

Origin of cant

3
First recorded in 1325–1375; Middle English cant, kant, kaunt “bold, brave, fierce,” from Low German kant “merry, bold”

Definition for cant (4 of 5)

can't
[ kant, kahnt ]
/ kænt, kɑnt /

contraction of cannot.
See cannot.
cant, can't

Definition for cant (5 of 5)

Cant.

abbreviation

Canterbury.
Cantonese.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for cant (1 of 5)

cant1
/ (kænt) /

noun

insincere talk, esp concerning religion or morals; pious platitudes
stock phrases that have become meaningless through repetition
specialized vocabulary of a particular group, such as thieves, journalists, or lawyers; jargon
singsong whining speech, as used by beggars

verb

(intr) to speak in or use cant
canter, nouncantingly, adverb
C16: probably via Norman French canter to sing, from Latin cantāre; used disparagingly, from the 12th century, of chanting in religious services

British Dictionary definitions for cant (2 of 5)

cant2
/ (kænt) /

noun

verb (tr)

adjective

oblique; slanting
having flat surfaces and without curves
cantic, adjective
C14 (in the sense: edge, corner): perhaps from Latin canthus iron hoop round a wheel, of obscure origin

British Dictionary definitions for cant (3 of 5)

cant3
/ (kɑːnt) /

adjective

Scot and Northern English dialect lusty; merry; hearty
C14: related to Low German kant bold, merry

British Dictionary definitions for cant (4 of 5)

can't
/ (kɑːnt) /

contraction of

cannot

British Dictionary definitions for cant (5 of 5)

Cant.

abbreviation for

Canterbury
Bible Canticles
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with cant

can't

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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