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[kan-ter] /ˈkæn tər/
an easy gallop.
verb (used with or without object)
to move or ride at a canter.
Origin of canter1
1745-55; short for Canterbury to ride at a pace like that of Canterbury pilgrims Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cantered
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And he smacked the white horse with his hand, and the Signora cantered gaily on.

    Quicksilver Sue Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards
  • Suddenly they cantered up to the wall and we knew some at least were alive.

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force Sir Winston S. Churchill
  • After their departure Mariposilla saddled the pony, and, bidding us a gleeful adieu, cantered away with the precious altar cloth.

    Mariposilla Mary Stewart Daggett
  • They seemed in haste, and she could hear the rattle of their sabres as they cantered by.

    Plantation Sketches Margaret Devereux
  • He snapped his ears at attention, wheeled to the gate, and cantered briskly out of the corral.

    Bred of the Desert Marcus Horton
  • The pain of keeping his seat occupied him as they cantered through the wood.

    The Prussian Officer D. H. Lawrence
  • She cantered to the homestead, standing high and hot on its ridge of sand, with only a few dry pines sprouting out of the yard.

    Some Persons Unknown E. W. Hornung
  • The cattleman touched his horse with the spur and cantered forward.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • The lady should have waved her kerchief in token of a tryst and cantered down the path to meet her cavalier.

    The Bastonnais John Lesperance
British Dictionary definitions for cantered


an easy three-beat gait of horses, etc, between a trot and a gallop in speed
at a canter, easily; without effort: he won at a canter
to move or cause to move at a canter
Word Origin
C18: short for Canterbury trot, the supposed pace at which pilgrims rode to Canterbury
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 cantered



1706, from a contraction of Canterbury gallop (1630s), "easy pace at which pilgrims ride to Canterbury" (q.v.). Related: Cantered; cantering.


1755, from canter (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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