definition of cant by The Free Dictionary

cant

insincere; the private language of the underworld; phraseology peculiar to a particular class or profession: the cant of the fashion industry; whining or singsong speech, esp. of beggars; hypocrisy, sham, pretense, humbug

Not to be confused with:

can’t – contraction of cannot
recant – withdraw or disavow; revoke, rescind, deny: He recanted his confession.

Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree

cant 1

 (kănt)

n.

1. Angular deviation from a vertical or horizontal plane or surface; an inclination or slope.

2. A slanted or oblique surface.

3.

a. A thrust or motion that tilts something.

b. The tilt caused by such a thrust or motion.

4. An outer corner, as of a building.

v. cant·ed, cant·ing, cants

v.tr.

1. To set at an oblique angle; tilt.

2. To give a slanting edge to; bevel.

3. To change the direction of suddenly.

v.intr.

1. To lean to one side; slant.

2. To take an oblique direction or course; swing around, as a ship.


[Middle English, side, from Old North French, from Vulgar Latin *cantus, corner, from Latin canthus, rim of wheel, tire, of Celtic origin.]


cant 2

 (kănt)

n.

1. Tedious or hackneyed language, especially when used sanctimoniously: “a merciless onslaught upon the cant of the age, the cant about progress, equality, [and] universal education” (C. Vann Woodward).

2.

a. The special vocabulary peculiar to the members of an underworld group; argot.

b. The special vocabulary of a profession, discipline, or social group; jargon.

4. Whining or singsong speech, such as that used by beggars.

intr.v. cant·ed, cant·ing, cants

1. To speak tediously or sanctimoniously.

2. To speak in argot or jargon.

3. To speak in a whining or singsong voice.



cant′ing·ly adv.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cant

(kænt)

n

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

vb

(intr) to speak in or use cant

[C16: probably via Norman French canter to sing, from Latin cantāre; used disparagingly, from the 12th century, of chanting in religious services]

ˈcanter n

ˈcantingly adv


cant

(kænt)

n

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. (Building) a corner or outer angle, esp of a building

5. an oblique or slanting surface, edge, or line

vb (tr)

6. to tip, tilt, or overturn, esp with a sudden jerk

7. (Mechanical Engineering) to set in an oblique position

8. (Building) another word for bevel1
adj

9. oblique; slanting

10. having flat surfaces and without curves

[C14 (in the sense: edge, corner): perhaps from Latin canthus iron hoop round a wheel, of obscure origin]

ˈcantic adj


cant

(kɑːnt)

adj

dialect Scot and Northern English lusty; merry; hearty

[C14: related to Low German kant bold, merry]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

cant1

(kænt)

n.

1. insincere or hypocritical statements, esp. pious platitudes.

2. the private language of the underworld.

3. the words and phrases peculiar to a particular class, profession, etc.

4. whining or singsong speech.

v.i.

5. to talk piously or hypocritically.

6. to beg in a whining or singsong tone.

[1495–1505; cant- in cantus song, canticus singsong, etc.; see chant]

cant2

(kænt)

n.

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 or cube.

6. a sudden pitch or toss.

7. Also called flitch. a partly trimmed log.

adj.

8. oblique or slanting.

v.t.

9. to bevel; form an oblique surface upon.

10. to put in an oblique position; tilt; tip.

11. to throw with a sudden jerk.

v.i.

12. to take or have an inclined position; tilt; turn.

[1325–75; Middle English: side, border < Anglo-French cant, Old French chant]

cant′ic, adj.

can’t

(kænt, kɑnt)

contraction of cannot.

Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

cant

Past participle: canted
Gerund: canting

Present
I cant
you cant
he/she/it cants
we cant
you cant
they cant
Preterite
I canted
you canted
he/she/it canted
we canted
you canted
they canted
Present Continuous
I am canting
you are canting
he/she/it is canting
we are canting
you are canting
they are canting
Present Perfect
I have canted
you have canted
he/she/it has canted
we have canted
you have canted
they have canted
Past Continuous
I was canting
you were canting
he/she/it was canting
we were canting
you were canting
they were canting
Past Perfect
I had canted
you had canted
he/she/it had canted
we had canted
you had canted
they had canted
Future
I will cant
you will cant
he/she/it will cant
we will cant
you will cant
they will cant
Future Perfect
I will have canted
you will have canted
he/she/it will have canted
we will have canted
you will have canted
they will have canted
Future Continuous
I will be canting
you will be canting
he/she/it will be canting
we will be canting
you will be canting
they will be canting
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been canting
you have been canting
he/she/it has been canting
we have been canting
you have been canting
they have been canting
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been canting
you will have been canting
he/she/it will have been canting
we will have been canting
you will have been canting
they will have been canting
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been canting
you had been canting
he/she/it had been canting
we had been canting
you had been canting
they had been canting
Conditional
I would cant
you would cant
he/she/it would cant
we would cant
you would cant
they would cant
Past Conditional
I would have canted
you would have canted
he/she/it would have canted
we would have canted
you would have canted
they would have canted

Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011

cant

A specialized vocabulary used among a particular group of people.

Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited

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