[ 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)

Related forms

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. 2019

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

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