• synonyms


  1. an easy gallop.
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to move or ride at a canter.
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Origin of canter1

First recorded in 1745–55; short for Canterbury to ride at a pace like that of Canterbury pilgrims
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for cantering

Historical Examples

  • And I've been thinking about you just cantering through wild, gay adventures.

    Way of the Lawless

    Max Brand

  • Some time later Nancy and Tom watched her cantering across the beach.

  • He gets his work before sunrise, and at that most of it is just cantering.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

  • Cantering on, he leapt from his horse, dropped the reins on its neck, and ran forward.

    At Aboukir and Acre

    George Alfred Henty

  • "Colomba, you're talking nonsense," said Orso, cantering forward.


    Prosper Merimee

British Dictionary definitions for cantering


  1. an easy three-beat gait of horses, etc, between a trot and a gallop in speed
  2. at a canter easily; without efforthe won at a canter
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  1. to move or cause to move at a canter
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Word Origin

C18: short for Canterbury trot, the supposed pace at which pilgrims rode to Canterbury
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

Word Origin and History for cantering



1755, from canter (v.).

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1706, from a contraction of Canterbury gallop (1630s), "easy pace at which pilgrims ride to Canterbury" (q.v.). Related: Cantered; cantering.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper