AskDefine | Define cant

Dictionary Definition



1 stock phrases that have become nonsense through endless repetition [syn: buzzword]
2 a slope in the turn of a road or track; the outside is higher than the inside in order to reduce the effects of centrifugal force [syn: bank, camber]
3 a characteristic language of a particular group (as among thieves); "they don't speak our lingo" [syn: jargon, slang, lingo, argot, patois, vernacular]
4 insincere talk about religion or morals [syn: pious platitude]
5 two surfaces meeting at an angle different from 90 degrees [syn: bevel, chamfer] v : heel over; "The tower is tilting"; "The ceiling is slanting" [syn: cant over, tilt, slant, pitch]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /kænt/
  • Rhymes with: -ænt

Etymology 1

From cantare (sing', probably via canter 'sing, tell', cognate with chant)


  1. The jargon of a particular class or subgroup.
    He had the look of a prince, but the cant of a fishmonger.
  2. A private or secret language used by a religious sect, gang, or other group.
  3. Empty, hypocritical talk.
    People claim to care about the poor of Africa, but it is largely cant.
  4. A musical singing sound.
  5. A blazon of a coat of arms that makes a pun upon the name of the bearer.
  6. A slope, an incline.
    "The roof has a cant on the south end."
Related terms
jargon of a particular class or subgroup
  • German: Fachsprache, Jargon
secret language
  • Dutch: Bargoens, boeventaal
  • French: argot
  • German: Gaunersprache, Rotwelsch
  • Japanese: 隠語 (いんご, ingo)
  • Korean: 속어 [俗語] (sogeo)
  • Spanish: argot, jerga
hypocritical talk
musical singing sound
blazon that makes a pun


  1. To speak with the jargon of a class or subgroup.
  2. To speak in set phrases.
  3. To preach in a singsong fashion, especially in a false or empty manner.
  4. In the context of "intransitive|heraldry": Of a blazon, to make a pun that references the bearer of a coat of arms.

Etymology 2


  1. (obsolete) corner, niche
  2. slope, the angle at which something is set.
    • Owing to the cant of the vessel, the masts hung far out over the water, and from my perch on the cross-trees I had nothing below me but the surface of the bay.
  3. A movement or throw that overturns something.
Related terms
angle at which something is set
movement that overturns


  1. To set (something) at an angle.
  2. To bevel an edge or corner.
  3. To overturn so that the contents are emptied.
set something at an angle
  • Dutch: neigen
  • Finnish: kallistaa
  • German: kanten, kippen
to bevel an edge or corner
  • German: abschrägen

Etymology 3


  1. To divide or parcel out.

Etymology 4

From , presumably from hypothetical kant


  1. (English dialect) lively, lusty.



From cantus.





cant ( cannoedd)
cant ( cantau)


cy-mut-c ant

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Cant or canting may refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Aesopian language, Babel, Greek, L, Pecksniffery, Tartuffery, Tartuffism, about ship, affectation, affectedness, alert, angle, angularity, animate, animated, apex, argot, ascend, babble, back and fill, bank, be hypocritical, bear away, bear off, bear to starboard, beat, beat about, bend, bifurcation, bight, blandish, box off, break, bring about, bring round, cant round, careen, cast, cast about, change course, change the heading, chevron, cipher, climb, code, coin, colloquialize, come about, corner, crank, crook, crotchet, cryptogram, decline, deflection, descend, dialect, diction, dictionary, dip, dogleg, double Dutch, double a point, drop, elbow, ell, empty gesture, fall, fall away, fall off, false piety, falseness, fetch about, fork, furcation, garble, gay, gibberish, gift of tongues, give lip service, give mouth honor, glossolalia, go about, go downhill, go uphill, gobbledygook, goody-goodiness, grade, gybe, heave round, heel, hook, humbug, hypocrisy, hypocriticalness, idiom, inclination, incline, inflection, insincerity, jargon, jargonize, jibe, jibe all standing, jumble, keel, keen, knee, language, lay down, lean, leaning, leaning tower, lexicon, lie along, lingo, lip service, list, mealymouthedness, miss stays, mouth, mouthing, mumbo jumbo, mummery, noise, nook, oiliness, ostentatious devotion, palaver, patois, patter, pecksniffery, pharisaicalness, pharisaism, phraseology, pidgin, pietism, pietisticalness, piety, piousness, pitch, play the hypocrite, ply, point, pretension, put about, put back, quoin, rake, recline, reek of piety, religionism, religiosity, render lip service, retreat, rise, round a point, sanctimoniousness, sanctimony, scatology, scramble, secret language, self-righteousness, sham, sheer, shelve, shift, shop, sidle, slang, slant, slew, slope, snivel, snuffle, snuffling, soft soap, soft-soap, speak, speech, spirited, sprightly, swag, sway, sweet talk, sweet-talk, swerve, swing round, swing the stern, taboo language, tack, talk, throw about, tilt, tip, tokenism, tower of Pisa, turn, turn back, unction, unctuousness, uprise, use language, veer, vernacular, vertex, vivacious, vocabulary, vulgar language, wear, wear ship, wind, yaw, zag, zig, zigzag
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1