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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ His viewpoint is remarkably free of idealism or cant.
▪ Along with that sound goes the overpowering stench of mendacity and cant.
▪ And yet their eyes, their lips, a certain shy grin or quizzical cant of an eyebrow, look strangely familiar.
▪ But what about the cant of usury and the mode of treating that he ought to know?
▪ If there was one thing that he hated fervently it was affectation and cant.
▪ Instantly, Penn establishes himself as an unsympathetic Satan, even before he starts his white-supremacist cant.
▪ Their cant was not religious but phrenological.
▪ The controls are canted toward the driver.
▪ Grave Digger clears all the yellow cars, canting far to one side.
▪ It maddened him and he canted athwart.
▪ She was sitting down by the gate, one hand on her neck, her head canted over at a fierce angle.
▪ This city could reconfigure parts of itself, great vitrodur panels sliding smoothly, tilting, canting.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Cant \Cant\, v. t. to sell by auction, or bid a price at a sale by auction. [Archaic]


Cant \Cant\, n. [Prob. from OF. cant, equiv. to L. quantum; cf. F. encan, fr. L. in quantum, i.e. ``for how much?''] A call for bidders at a public sale; an auction. ``To sell their leases by cant.''


Cant \Cant\, n. [Prob. from OF. cant, F. chant, singing, in allusion to the singing or whining tine of voice used by beggars, fr. L. cantus. See Chant.]

  1. An affected, singsong mode of speaking.

  2. The idioms and peculiarities of speech in any sect, class, or occupation.

    The cant of any profession.

  3. The use of religious phraseology without understanding or sincerity; empty, solemn speech, implying what is not felt; hypocrisy.

    They shall hear no cant from me.
    --F. W. Robertson

  4. Vulgar jargon; slang; the secret language spoker by gipsies, thieves, tramps, or beggars.


Cant \Cant\, n. [OF., edge, angle, prof. from L. canthus the iron ring round a carriage wheel, a wheel, Gr. ? the corner of the eye, the felly of a wheel; cf. W. cant the stake or tire of a wheel. Cf. Canthus, Canton, Cantle.]

  1. A corner; angle; niche. [Obs.]

    The first and principal person in the temple was Irene, or Peace; she was placed aloft in a cant.
    --B. Jonson.

  2. An outer or external angle.

  3. An inclination from a horizontal or vertical line; a slope or bevel; a titl.

  4. A sudden thrust, push, kick, or other impulse, producing a bias or change of direction; also, the bias or turn so give; as, to give a ball a cant.

  5. (Coopering) A segment forming a side piece in the head of a cask.

  6. (Mech.) A segment of he rim of a wooden cogwheel.

  7. (Naut.) A piece of wood laid upon the deck of a vessel to support the bulkheads.

    Cant frames, Cant timbers (Naut.), timber at the two ends of a ship, rising obliquely from the keel.


Cant \Cant\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Canted; p. pr. & vb. n. Canting.]

  1. To incline; to set at an angle; to tilt over; to tip upon the edge; as, to cant a cask; to cant a ship.

  2. To give a sudden turn or new direction to; as, to cant round a stick of timber; to cant a football.

  3. To cut off an angle from, as from a square piece of timber, or from the head of a bolt.


Cant \Cant\, v. i.

  1. To speak in a whining voice, or an affected, singsong tone.

  2. To make whining pretensions to goodness; to talk with an affectation of religion, philanthropy, etc.; to practice hypocrisy; as, a canting fanatic.

    The rankest rogue that ever canted.
    --Beau. & Fl.

  3. To use pretentious language, barbarous jargon, or technical terms; to talk with an affectation of learning.

    The doctor here, When he discourseth of dissection, Of vena cava and of vena porta, The meser[ae]um and the mesentericum, What does he else but cant.
    --B. Jonson

    That uncouth affected garb of speech, or canting language, if I may so call it.
    --Bp. Sanderson.


Cant \Cant\, a. Of the nature of cant; affected; vulgar.

To introduce and multiply cant words in the most ruinous corruption in any language.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"slope, slant," late 14c., Scottish, "edge, brink," from Old North French cant "corner" (perhaps via Middle Low German kante or Middle Dutch kant), from Vulgar Latin *canthus, from Latin cantus "iron tire of a wheel," possibly from a Celtic word meaning "rim of wheel, edge" (compare Welsh cant "bordering of a circle, tire, edge," Breton cant "circle"), from PIE *kam-bo- "corner, bend," from root *kemb- "to bend, turn, change" (cognates: Greek kanthos "corner of the eye," Russian kutu "corner").


"insincere talk," 1709, earlier it was slang for "whining of beggars" (1640s), from the verb in this sense (1560s), from Old North French canter (Old French chanter) "to sing, chant," from Latin cantare, frequentative of canere "to sing" (see chant (v.)). Sense in English developed after 1680 to mean the jargon of criminals and vagabonds, thence applied contemptuously by any sect or school to the phraseology of its rival.\n\n... Slang is universal, whilst Cant is restricted in usage to certain classes of the community: thieves, vagrom men, and -- well, their associates. ... Slang boasts a quasi-respectability denied to Cant, though Cant is frequently more enduring, its use continuing without variation of meaning for many generations.

[John S. Farmer, Forewords to "Musa Pedestris," 1896]


Etymology 1 n. 1 (context countable English) An argot, the jargon of a particular class or subgroup. 2 (context countable uncountable English) A private or secret language used by a religious sect, gang, or other group. 3 Shelt

  1. 4 (context uncountable pejorative English) empty, hypocritical talk. 5 (context uncountable English) whining speech, such as that used by beggars. 6 (context countable heraldry English) A blazon of a coat of arms that makes a pun upon the name of the bearer, canting arms. 7 (context obsolete English) A call for bidders at a public fair; an auction. v

  2. 1 (context intransitive English) To speak with the jargon of a class or subgroup. 2 (context intransitive English) To speak in set phrases. 3 (context intransitive English) To preach in a singsong fashion, especially in a false or empty manner. 4 (context intransitive heraldry English) Of a blazon, to make a pun that references the bearer of a coat of arms. 5 (context obsolete English) To sell by auction, or bid at an auction. Etymology 2

    n. 1 (context obsolete English) corner, niche 2 slope, the angle at which something is set. 3 An outer or external angle. 4 An inclination from a horizontal or vertical line; a slope or bevel; a tilt. 5 A movement or throw that overturns something. 6 A sudden thrust, push, kick, or other impulse, producing a bias or change of direction; also, the bias or turn so give. 7 (context coopering English) A segment forming a side piece in the head of a cask. 8 A segment of the rim of a wooden cogwheel. 9 (context nautical English) A piece of wood laid upon the deck of a vessel to support the bulkheads. vb. 1 (context transitive English) To set (something) at an angle. 2 (context transitive English) To give a sudden turn or new direction to. 3 (context transitive English) To bevel an edge or corner. 4 (context transitive English) To overturn so that the contents are empty. Etymology 3

    vb. (context transitive English) To divide or parcel out. Etymology 4

    1. (context British dialect English) lively, lusty. alt. (context British dialect English) lively, lusty.

  1. n. 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]


CANT may refer to:

In music:

  • CANT, the solo project from Grizzly Bear bass guitarist and producer, Christ Taylor.

In aviation:

  • Cantieri Aeronautici e Navali Triestini, an aviation company.
Cant (language)

A cant (or cryptolect) is the jargon or argot of a group, often employed to exclude or mislead people outside the group.

Cant (architecture)

Cant or canted in architecture is an angled (oblique) line or surface particularly which cuts off a corner.

Canted facades are a typical of, but not exclusive to, Baroque architecture. The angle breaking the facade is less than a right angle thus enabling a canted facade to be viewed as, and remain, one composition. Bay windows frequently have canted sides.

Cant (surname)

Cant is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

  • Andrew Cant (educator) (died 1728), Principal of the University of Edinburgh from 1675 to 1685
  • Andrew Cant (footballer) (born 1899), Scottish professional footballer
  • Andrew Cant (minister) (1590–1663), Presbyterian minister and leader of the Scottish Covenanters
  • Brian Cant (b. 1933), British actor and writer
  • Colin Cant (f. 1980s), British television producer
  • Gilbert Cant (1909–1982), British-born US journalist
  • Harry Cant (1907–1977), Australian politician
  • Richard Cant (f. 1980s), British actor, son of Brian Cant
  • Robert Cant (1915–1997), British politician
  • Sanne Cant (b. 1990), Belgian female athlete in cycling
  • William Alexander Cant (1863–1933), US federal judge
Cant (road/rail)

The cant of a railway track or camber of a road (also referred to as superelevation, cross slope or cross fall) is the rate of change in elevation (height) between the two rails or edges. This is normally greater where the railway or road is curved; raising the outer rail or the outer edge of the road providing a banked turn, thus allowing vehicles to maneuver through the curve at higher speeds than would otherwise be possible if the surface was flat or level.

Usage examples of "cant".

This had been something like the famous aeolipile of Hero-in a lost timeline, a manufacturer of mechanical novelties in Alexandria-just a pressure vessel with two canted nozzles that would vent steam and spin around like a lawn sprinkler.

The Andalusian moved away from the center of the ring and began to canter in a circle to the left, smoothly and evenly.

At least the thought gave Antonio a small measure of contentment, and he pushed the horse into an easy canter.

His Majesty the King of Cant sat on the throne in a coronal haloa scarlet backlight from braziers that leaped to life above and behind him as he motionlessly oversaw the transformation of his subjects.

The barrel of the Bushmaster cannon canted upward and fired a burst of tracers.

They employed emissaries to allay the ferment among the Cameronians, and disunite them from the cavaliers, by canting, praying, and demonstrating the absurdity, sinfulness, and danger of such a coalition.

Zhentarim cant echoed in the charterhouse and Zhentarim trade-marks were burned into every piece of wood, including the one Druhallen stared at after the spider disappeared.

To which Lord Diegan could do nothing but clench his jaw, wheel his courser out of line, and pound off at a canter to review the order of his troops.

He held his pistol canted so that the priming powder covered the touchhole and slid his thumb on to the doghead, ready to cock the piece.

Their horses broke into a canter, and with the swifter movement Domini felt more calm.

As they rode in slowly, for their horses were tired and streaming with heat after their long canter across the sands, both Domini and Androvsky were struck by the novelty of this halting-place, which was quite unlike anything they had yet seen.

All I know is that the Eyes are looking hard at me, at the Rats and the Dungers and the Serpents, but they seem utterly blind to the Subjects of Cant.

A single weird cry, a warbling epiglottal shrilling uncanny in the night, triggered a wild clamor, and the invaders spurred their mounts to a canter, charging downhill at the ylver.

And the thrice-xaxtdamned fieldpiece that fell to his own lot to drive was canted at a perfectly sickening angle to the horizon.

Polly Smith makes a fuss when the ball goes over her fence and we cant play football becaus Scotty broke his arm and Whack got stunted, and we cant fite becaus it is rong to fite.