• synonyms


[kan-ter, -tawr]
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  1. the religious official of a synagogue who conducts the liturgical portion of a service and sings or chants the prayers and parts of prayers designed to be performed as solos.
  2. an official whose duty is to lead the singing in a cathedral or in a collegiate or parish church; a precentor.
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Origin of cantor

1530–40; < Latin: singer, equivalent to can(ere) to sing + -tor -tor
Can be confusedcanter cantor


[kan-ter; for 2 also German kahn-tawr]
  1. EddieEdward Israel Iskovitz, 1892–1964, U.S. singer and entertainer.
  2. Ge·org [gey-awrk] /geɪˈɔrk/, 1845–1918, German mathematician, born in Russia.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for cantor

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "You hear what young Mr Cantor has said," continued the lawyer.

    Cousin Henry

    Anthony Trollope

  • "Joe, ye shall be made to sit out in the kitchen; ye shall," said Cantor the father.

    Cousin Henry

    Anthony Trollope

  • "I know'd it," said young Cantor, clenching his fist almost in her face.

    Cousin Henry

    Anthony Trollope

  • "I'll swear that's one of my pupils, he is so pugnacious," thought the cantor to himself.

    The Day of Wrath

    Maurus Jkai

  • We went up the river as far as Cantor (some five hundred miles).

    A Book of Discovery

    Margaret Bertha (M. B.) Synge

British Dictionary definitions for cantor


  1. Also called: chazan Judaism a man employed to lead synagogue services, esp to traditional modes and melodies
  2. Christianity the leader of the singing in a church choir
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin: singer, 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 cantor


1530s, "church song-leader," from Latin cantor "singer, poet, actor," agent noun from past participle stem of canere "to sing" (see chant (v.)). Applied in English to the Hebrew chazan from 1893.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper