Origin of canto

1580–90; < Italian < Latin cant(us) singing, song, equivalent to can(ere) to sing + -tus suffix of v. action; cf. cant1, chant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for canto

Historical Examples of canto

British Dictionary definitions for canto


noun plural -tos
  1. music another word for cantus (def. 2)
  2. a main division of a long poem

Word Origin for canto

C16: from Italian: song, from Latin cantus, from canere to sing
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 canto

1580s, from Italian canto "song," from Latin cantus "song" (see chant (v.)). As "a section of a long poem," used in Italian by Dante, in English first by Spenser.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper