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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

OTHER WORDS FROM cant

cant·ing·ly, adverb

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH cant

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

OTHER WORDS FROM cant

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.

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.

abbreviation

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

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.
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