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cant1

[kant] /kænt/
noun
1.
insincere, especially conventional expressions of enthusiasm for high ideals, goodness, or piety.
2.
the private language of the underworld.
3.
the phraseology peculiar to a particular class, party, profession, etc.:
the cant of the fashion industry.
4.
whining or singsong speech, especially of beggars.
verb (used without object)
5.
to talk hypocritically.
6.
to speak in the whining or singsong tone of a beggar; beg.
Origin of cant1
1495-1505
1495-1505; < Latin base cant- in cantus song, canticus singsong, etc., whence Old English cantere singer, cantic song; see chant
Related forms
cantingly, adverb
Can be confused
cant, can't, Kant.
cant, jargon, slang.
Synonyms
1. hypocrisy, sham, pretense, humbug.

cant2

[kant] /kænt/
noun
1.
a salient angle.
2.
a sudden movement that tilts or overturns a thing.
3.
a slanting or tilted position.
4.
an oblique line or surface, as one formed by cutting off the corner of a square of cube.
5.
an oblique or slanting face of anything.
6.
Civil Engineering, bank1 (def 6).
7.
a sudden pitch or toss.
8.
Also called flitch. a partly trimmed log.
adjective
9.
oblique or slanting.
verb (used with object)
10.
to bevel; form an oblique surface upon.
11.
to put in an oblique position; tilt; tip.
12.
to throw with a sudden jerk.
verb (used without object)
13.
to take or have an inclined position; tilt; turn.
Origin
1325-75; Middle English: side, border < Anglo-French cant, Old French chant < a Romance base *cantu(m) with the related senses “rim, border” and “angle corner,” probably < Celtic; compare Latin cant(h)us iron tire (< Celtic), Welsh cant periphery, rim, felloe; probably not akin to Greek kanthós corner of the eye; cf. canteen, cantle, canton
Related forms
cantic, adjective

cant3

[kahnt] /kɑnt/
adjective, Scot. and North England
1.
hearty; merry.
Origin
1250-1300; Middle English < Low German kant merry, bold

can't

[kant, kahnt] /kænt, kɑnt/
1.
contraction of cannot.
Can be confused
cant, can't, Kant.
Usage note

Cant.

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We digs our own water hole, and unfortunately we cant share it any.

    Frank Merriwell's Triumph Burt L. Standish
  • And as to your cant of living single, nobody will believe you.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • I cant see anything but defeat and a second place on the ticket.

    For the Honor of the School Ralph Henry Barbour
  • In the cant of modern metaphysics, the moment was psychological.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • Then its his maddening indifference that I cant forgive him.

  • But we cant leave him to his fate, in this fashion, said Altamont.

    The Field of Ice Jules Verne
  • He looked at her, Betsy says to me, as if he was sayin I cant stand that!

    Winona of the Camp Fire Margaret Widdemer
  • He must be told in the end, for we cant leave him here alone.

    The Field of Ice Jules Verne
British Dictionary definitions for cant

cant1

/kænt/
noun
1.
insincere talk, esp concerning religion or morals; pious platitudes
2.
stock phrases that have become meaningless through repetition
3.
specialized vocabulary of a particular group, such as thieves, journalists, or lawyers; jargon
4.
singsong whining speech, as used by beggars
verb
5.
(intransitive) to speak in or use cant
Derived Forms
canter, noun
cantingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: probably via Norman French canter to sing, from Latin cantāre; used disparagingly, from the 12th century, of chanting in religious services

cant2

/kænt/
noun
1.
inclination from a vertical or horizontal plane; slope; slant
2.
a sudden movement that tilts or turns something
3.
the angle or tilt thus caused
4.
a corner or outer angle, esp of a building
5.
an oblique or slanting surface, edge, or line
verb (transitive)
6.
to tip, tilt, or overturn, esp with a sudden jerk
7.
to set in an oblique position
8.
another word for bevel (sense 1)
adjective
9.
oblique; slanting
10.
having flat surfaces and without curves
Derived Forms
cantic, adjective
Word Origin
C14 (in the sense: edge, corner): perhaps from Latin canthus iron hoop round a wheel, of obscure origin

cant3

/kɑːnt/
adjective
1.
(Scot & Northern English, dialect) lusty; merry; hearty
Word Origin
C14: related to Low German kant bold, merry

Cant.

abbreviation
1.
Canterbury
2.
(Bible) Canticles

can't

/kɑːnt/
contraction
1.
cannot
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
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Word Origin and History for cant
n.

"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.

... 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]

"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" (cf. Welsh cant "bordering of a circle, tire, edge," Breton cant "circle"), from PIE *kam-bo- "corner, bend," from root *kemb- "to bend, turn, change" (cf. Greek kanthos "corner of the eye," Russian kutu "corner").

can't

v.

1706, contraction of cannot.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for cant

Cant.

1.
Canterbury
2.
Canticle of Canticles
3.
Cantonese
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with cant
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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