cant

1
[ kant ]
/ kænt /

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.

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

OTHER WORDS FROM cant

cant·ing·ly, adverb

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH cant

1. cant , can't; 2. cant , jargon, slang.

Definition for cant (2 of 5)

Origin of cant

2
1325–75; Middle English: side, border <Anglo-French cant,Old French chant< a Romance base *cantu(m) with the related senses “rim, border” and “angle corner,” probably <Celtic; compare Latin cant(h)us iron tire (< Celtic), Welsh cant periphery, rim, felloe; probably not akin to Greek kanthós corner of the eye; cf. canteen, cantle, canton

OTHER WORDS FROM cant

cantic, adjective

Definition for cant (3 of 5)

cant3
[ kahnt ]
/ kɑnt /

adjective Scot. and North England.

hearty; merry.

Origin of cant

3
1250–1300; Middle English <Low German kant merry, bold

Definition for cant (4 of 5)

can't
[ kant, kahnt ]
/ kænt, kɑnt /

contraction of cannot.

usage note for can't

usage note for can't

See cannot.

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH can't

cant, can't .

Definition for cant (5 of 5)

Cant.

Canterbury.
Cantonese.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for cant

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

Derived forms of cant

canter, nouncantingly, adverb

Word Origin for cant

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

Derived forms of cant

cantic, adjective

Word Origin for cant

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

Word Origin for cant

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.