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[kahn-trip] /ˈkɑn trɪp/
Chiefly Scot. a magic spell; trick by sorcery.
Chiefly British. artful shamming meant to deceive.
Origin of cantrip
1710-20; apparently dissimilated variant of Old English calcatrippe; see caltrop Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cantrip
Historical Examples
  • cantrip, kan′trip, n. a freak or wilful piece of trickery: a witch's spell.

  • I remember how cantrip almost cried when he told me you were going to leave him.

    Phineas Redux Anthony Trollope
  • What if the extremities were blue after all, and cantrip right?

    The Burglars' Club Henry A. Hering
  • He could not, however, make Lord cantrip understand the whole truth.

    Phineas Finn Anthony Trollope
  • When the new vicar went to cantrip he found Church matters in a very primitive state.

  • That exceedingly intelligent young nobleman Lord cantrip was in earnest.

    Phineas Finn Anthony Trollope
  • Lady cantrip wanted to ask me something about it, and so I went down.

    The Duke's Children Anthony Trollope
  • Nevertheless Lady cantrip kept her eyes open, and when the letter came from Tregear she was aware that the letter had come.

    The Duke's Children Anthony Trollope
  • Gresham and cantrip with their own friends can hardly make a Ministry as things are now unless Mr. Monk will join them.

    The Prime Minister Anthony Trollope
  • Till Lady cantrip seated herself at her writing-table she did not know how great the difficulty would be.

    The Duke's Children Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for cantrip


a magic spell
(often pl) a mischievous trick
(of an effect) produced by black magic
Word Origin
C18: Scottish, of unknown origin
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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