[ kan-tn, -ton, kan-ton for 1–7; kan-ton, -tohn, or, esp. British, -toon for 8 ]
/ ˈkæn tn, -tɒn, kænˈtɒn for 1–7; kænˈtɒn, -ˈtoʊn, or, esp. British, -ˈtun for 8 /


verb (used with object)

Origin of canton

1525–35; < Middle French < Old Provençal, derivative of can side, edge (see cant2)


can·ton·al, adjectivecan·ton·al·ism, nounun·can·toned, adjective

Definition for canton (2 of 3)

[ kan-ton, kan-ton for 1; kan-tn for 2–5 ]
/ kænˈtɒn, ˈkæn tɒn for 1; ˈkæn tn for 2–5 /


Also called Kwangchow, Guangzhou, Kuangchou. Older Spelling. a seaport in and the capital of Guangdong province, in SE China, on the Zhu Jiang.
a city in NE Ohio: location of the football Hall of Fame.
a city in E Massachusetts.
a city in W central Illinois.
a town in central Mississippi.

Definition for canton (3 of 3)

[ gwahng-dawng ]
/ ˈgwɑŋˈdɔŋ /

noun Pinyin.

a province in SE China. 89,344 sq. mi. (231,401 sq. km). Capital: Canton.
Also Kwangtung. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for canton

British Dictionary definitions for canton (1 of 3)


noun (ˈkæntɒn, kænˈtɒn)

any of the 23 political divisions of Switzerland
a subdivision of a French arrondissement
(ˈkæntən) heraldry a small square or oblong charge on a shield, usually in the top left corner


(kænˈtɒn) (tr) to divide into cantons
(kənˈtuːn) (esp formerly) to allocate accommodation to (military personnel)

Derived forms of canton

cantonal, adjective

Word Origin for canton

C16: from Old French: corner, division, from Italian cantone, from canto corner, from Latin canthus iron rim; see cant ²

British Dictionary definitions for canton (2 of 3)



(kænˈtɒn) a port in SE China, capital of Guangdong province, on the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River): the first Chinese port open to European trade. Pop: 3 881 000 (2005 est)Chinese names: Guangzhou, Kwangchow
(ˈkæntən) a city in the US, in NE Ohio. Pop: 80 806 (2000)

British Dictionary definitions for canton (3 of 3)



/ (ˈɡwæŋˈdʊŋ) /


a province of SE China, on the South China Sea: includes the Leizhou Peninsula, with densely populated river valleys; traditionally also including Macao and Hong Kong; the only true tropical climate in China. Capital: Canton. Pop: 79 540 000 (2003 est). Area: 197 100 sq km (76 100 sq miles)
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